Q2 Morning Email Newsletter

Aug 21, 2012 6:49 PM by Q2 News

Blaze south of Billings at 1941 acres, Pryor without power

BILLINGS - The Highway 87 Fire continues to burn actively this afternoon, though fire managers report the areas burning are interior pockets of grasses and timber.

Based on mapping this morning, the fire is 1941 acres, and remains at 0% containment. There is no imminent threat to structures. the fire is roughly 2-3 miles from the Briarwood area.

Fire crews worked overnight to build dozer lines, but haven't declared containment because they still don't have confidence that the fire will not jump those lines, said Jon Kohn, a fire spokesperson for the Bureau of Indian Affairs

"There's a lot of work to do today," Kohn said. "There's the possibility that the fire will grow quickly, but we have a lot of resources out there."

Yellowstone Valley Co-Op tells Q2 there has been transmission line damage from the fire burning southeast of Billings. About 350 customers in the Pryor area are without power. Crews are working on repairing 14 power-line structures, and hope to have power back on this evening.

Firefighters from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Yellowstone County and numerous fire departments are responding to the Highway 87 Fire, which was reported Monday afternoon.

The fire, which originated on the Crow Reservation, has burned onto private lands within Yellowstone County; the Montana DNRC is assisting with structure protection and aerial suppression resources to slow the spread of the blaze. Three heavy air tankers, two single-engine air tankers (SEATS), three helicopters, and numerous engines are responding. One home is confirmed destroyed by the fire. There are no mandatory evacuations at this time, but fire managers are concerned about threats to the Briarwood subdivision and others if winds continue to push the fire north/northwest.

The fire still remains at least three miles away from Briarwood.

High temperatures and winds today from the south will also be a concern.

The Highway 87 Fire is believed to be human-caused, and a fire investigator has been requested. No injuries have been reported.

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