Aug 4, 2012 12:29 AM by David Jay
LAME DEER, MT - Cooler weather helped firefighters battle six fires in the Rosebud Complex in Rosebud County and north of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.
The town of Lame Deer was evacuated Thursday night and the mandatory evacuation was changed to voluntary around 10 this morning.
The 100,000 acre Chalky fire threatened the town of Lame Deer..
Crews are still putting out fire and hot spots along Highway 212 in Lame Deer.
The Rosebud Complex has burned more than 131-thousand acres.
The six fires are burning from south of Rosebud to southwest of Colstrip.
Rain and cooler temperatures helped...and focus is the Chalky fire.
"We need to get around the west end of that," said Stan Benes, incident commander for the Northern Rockies Type II Team. "We've got a lot of resources tomorrow and there's some hand work right here out of Lame Deer that's going to take some hand crews. We have three hot shot crews. It seems all fuels are available and it's moving through that much quicker than we've seen for several years."
Benes says he worries there may be fires that the crews have not found.
About 400 firefighters are in camp tonight, with more on the way.
Friday afternoon, Benes met with Bob Fry, incident commander of the Northern Rockies Type II team managing the Rosebud fire, along with other agencies helping with the fire. The two teams needed to coordinate which group would handle certain fires that start between the two complexes.
The Chalky fire came close to Lame Deer...and forced the evacuation of the whole town.
"Oh yes, you could just see it over there, It was like a pink glow," said Doreen Limberhand, a Lame Deer resident. "It was scary."
"I think it was cooperation and I think it was community," said Harold Horn, a Lame Deer resident and Limberhand's brother. "And I think that superseded everything else."
An American Red Cross volunteer says some of people from Lame Deer came to the shelter Hardin.
As soon as the road opened at 2 pm,they headed back to Lame Deer.
More than 200 people stayed at the Red Cross Shelter in Ashland.