CASPER, Wyoming – The Robertson Draw Fire south of Red Lodge, Montana and near the Wyoming border has been burning for over two weeks and has claimed approximately 29,838 acres.
The fire was discovered on June 13 and is believed to be of human origin. The cause remains under investigation.
Northern Rockies Type 2 Incident Management Team 3 was scheduled to take back command of the fire from Team 4 on Wednesday, according to a Wednesday morning update from fire officials posted on InciWeb.
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Fire crews had established 65% containment of the fire on Wednesday morning. 280 people are affected by the fire.
Crews continued to carry out suppression repair work on the interior fire lines on Tuesday.
“Perimeter fire lines remain in place while some erosion control work has been completed to prevent potential soil runoff,” the update said. “On the northwest side, firefighters continued to search for hot spots along the handline. Crews have finished shredding woody debris from roadside thinning work completed Sunday. “
“The forest fire utilization module checked the fire lines along the west side of the fire south of Mt. Mauritius, transported round trip by helicopter. The initial attack group remained on standby and ready to respond to any further fire. “
Teams were to continue patrolling the southern and eastern sides of the blaze and monitoring new hot spots along the containment lines on Wednesday.
“On the northwest side, firefighters will continue to patrol and crisscross the edge of the fire looking for pockets of heat,” the update said. “There is a tentative plan to return a crew to the plateau and south of Mt. Mauritius sector on the west side of the traffic light. The initial attack group will remain ready to respond to any new outbreak of fire. “
The new incident management team was to follow Team 4 on Wednesday.
“Team 4 would like to thank everyone in Belfry, Red Lodge and the surrounding communities for their help with this fire,” the update reads.
Evacuation warnings remain in effect in areas south of Red Lodge and east of US Highway 212.
Closures are in effect in the following sectors:
- Grove Creek Road North and South
- Golden stream road
- Ruby Creek Road
- Meeteetse trail
- Robertson Draw Road
- All land in the Custer Gallatin National Forest System south of Point of Rocks in the Rock Creek watershed and east of US Highway 212
- This includes trailheads, campgrounds, scattered camping areas, and USDA Forest Service recreational residences in Corral Creek and Spring Creek.
- This is in addition to the order to close the forest encompassing the Line Creek Plateau.
- Bureau of Land Management lands located west of State Highway 72, south of State Highway 308, and east of US Highway 212 in Carbon County, Montana
- Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): A TFR is in place for the airspace above Robertson Draw Fire (FDC 1/0096) to provide a safe environment for firefighting aircraft operating in the area. Keep in mind that temporary flight restrictions also apply to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones.
“It is recommended that all residents in the area have a household evacuation plan,” fire officials say. “Please stay alert and be aware of the fire situation and your surroundings. “