Q2 Morning Email Newsletter

Sep 18, 2012 1:14 PM by Q2 News

Dugan Fire near Ekalaka 60% contained

UPDATE: Firefighters are actively preparing for the predicted "Red Flag" warning starting at noon today.

Crews continued the hard work of reinforcing lines, mop-up operations and cutting snags yesterday - The wind was blowing down snags across the road, blocking vehicle traffic at times and creating very dangerous conditions for fire fighters. Crews pushed hard and were able to progress to 60% containment and clean up most of the Ekalaka Park Campground. Today, crews will again focus on clearing out more of the snags. Some of the snags that are remaining are near power lines, complicating operations even more. Additional areas of emphasis will be placed on working at cooling the old slash piles and conducting mop-up operations. Rehabilitation efforts will be started in areas as appropriate. Helicopters will continue assisting the ground crews to cool down the hot spots.

BILLINGS - A fire burning 2 miles south of Ekalaka has put homes at risk and has caused closure to several roadways in the Custer National Forest.

The Dugan Fire started late Friday night, and latest GPS reports indicate the fire is 10,678 acres in size, and Monday morning reports put it at 28 percent containment.

The fire is burning predominately in the Custer National Forest, but has also spread to private lands.

(map below)

On Sunday, there were 200 crew members working on the fire and additional resources included 3 helicopters, 25 fire engines and various other firefighting related vehicles.

Fire bosses said there were primary residences bordering the forest which remain at risk, as well as two radio towers, the Ekalaka Park Campground and Camp Needmore.

Throughout the weekend, crews conducted large burnout operations and created fire lines.

On Sunday, crews worked to cool down hot sports and were on alert for new fire starts.

The U.S. Forest Service has announced several closures of lands bordered by roadways in the national forest while crews continue to fight the fire.

The Chalk Buttes Highway (on the west and north side of the fire), the Pershing Cutoff Road (south side), and portions of Highway 323 (east) and all lands within those perimeters have all been closed.

(photos from Lynnette Wolff, Robin Kuntz)

There have been no injuries reported due to this fire.

Various outbuildings have been damaged by the fire.

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    Photo From Robin Kuntz
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