Montana

Aug 3, 2012 3:32 PM by Dennis Bragg - MTN News

Rosebud Complex fires turning into largest blaze yet this summer

ROSEBUD - In a summer that's already burned hundreds of thousands of acres in Southeast Montana, the new Rosebud Complex Fire is quickly becoming one of the largest fires to hit the state this summer.

The largest fire, known as the Chalky, has burned more than 100,000 acres alone, and when combined with the other five fires burning in the area, the total area scorched is now over 131,000 acres. The fires are spread out in an area from four to 30 miles south of Rosebud. There's no containment on any of the fires as of Friday morning.

Highway 39 remains closed from Lame Deer to Colstrip and Highway 212 is closed from Lame Deer to Crow Agency.

Authorities are hoping to use Friday's cooler weather to make progress in trying to get some measure of containment on the fires.

The Rosebud Complex is made up of the Beaver fire, which has burned 1,435 acres and is fully contained; the 5,110 acre Juniper fire; the Sweeney fire, that's burned 9,016 acres; the Sand Creek fire that's scorched 14,668 acres; the 1,005 acre Big John fire; and the Chalky fire that's burned over 100,000 acres.

Photos by Elton Harris

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