Jul 4, 2012 1:22 PM by Q2 Staff
The largest wildfire currently burning in Montana grew to 244,468 acres and continues to spread.
Containment on the Ash Creek Fire remains at 55%. The fire experienced significant fire movement on the eastern flank late yesterday afternoon.
On the ground, firefighters found little help from the weather, with winds gusting up to 35 mile per hour, pushing the fire further.
The wind-fueled fire was traveling up to three miles per hour across the tree tops; on the ground it was moving as fast as 16 miles per hour.
The wind kept the Ash Creek Fire very active to the northeast, but we're told progress was made against the flames in northern and southern sections of the fire zone.
At least 810 fire fighters are now helping battle the fire, with the bulk of the fire fighters stationed in Ashland.
As hotshot crews worked to protect structures, the flames burned closer to the edge of Highway 212 creating low visibility.
Crews are using various fire fighting techniques, including fire line breaks, to slow the fire's progress.
On Wednesday the fire bosses expect another active day with high temperatures and humidity down into the teens.
We're also told that BLM fire crews are battling two new fire starts near the Ash Creek Fire in the area near Fort Howes.
Ranches and residences remain threatened particularly in the Ashland/Broadus Divide near the leading edge of this fire. Highway 212 between Ashland and Broadus remains closed due to fire activity and smoke. Please respect the fire restrictions in place by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and local Counties by ceasing fireworks and open fire use of any kind.
The Ashland Ranger District of the Custer National Forest is under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions and has initiated area closures due to fire activity on all National Forest System lands north of Highway 212