Posted: Jul 4, 2012 2:26 PM by Stan Parker - Q2 News
Updated: Jul 4, 2012 2:26 PM
UPDATE: LAUREL - Two homes and three outbuildings have been lost so far in the Dry Creek Fire, which was reported yesterday afternoon outside of Laurel.
The Laurel Fire Department reports good progress on fighting the fire, now estimated at 1800-2000 acres and 40% containment. The department tells us one man was taken to the hospital with burn injuries.
According to the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office, the fire started when a homeowner was using a metal grinder in violation of the burn ban. The sparks from the grinder ignited his garage, which quickly spread to grass and timber, fueled by triple-digit temperatures and gusty winds. The National Weather Service had issued a red flag warning for those conditions earlier in the day.
Fire departments from neighboring counties, engines from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and others quickly descended on the blaze, effectively combating the flames despite the challenging weather. Crews worked through the night, constructing fire lines and mopping up hot spots, with particular attention around residential structures.
The DNRC tells us today's plans call for continued line construction, with engines and personnel on the ground aided by helicopters dropping buckets of water and, if needed, the use of heavy air tankers stationed at the Billings airport.
Today's weather forecast will be favorable; temperatures in the upper 80s and light winds are expected over the fire area.
Roughly 80 people are working on Dry Creek Fire, and The Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office reminds people not to violate the ban.