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Lodgepole Complex fire jumps to 200K acres - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Lodgepole Complex fire jumps to 200K acres

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The Lodgepole Complex consists of four fires burning in eastern Montana. (BLM photo) The Lodgepole Complex consists of four fires burning in eastern Montana. (BLM photo)
GREAT FALLS -

UPDATE: 

Fire officials say the Lodgepole Complex grew to 200,000 acres Saturday evening. 

Firefighters are using a variety of tactics to stop the fire from spreading. 

Crews are trying to protect public land and reduce the threat to residences, livestock, and grazing lands.

Evacuations remain in place for residents North of Highway 200 to Fort Peck Lake and West of Edwards Road in Garfield County.

Montana Highway 200 between Jordan and Winnett is subject to intermittent, temporary closures due to fire activity.

A forecast for hot, dry weather and southerly winds could result in another day of extreme fire behavior on Sunday.

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The Lodgepole Complex Fires consists of four fires burning in eastern Montana which have collectively scorched an estimated 125,000 acres as of Saturday morning.

There is no containment of the fire yet.

The Lodgepole Complex consists of the Bridge Coulee Fire, the South Breaks Fire, the Barker Fire, and the Square Butte Fire. 

A community meeting to discuss the Lodgepole Complex Fires is scheduled for Saturday at 5 p.m. at the VFW in Jordan. Representatives from the Incident Management Team and the County Information Officer will be present to provide updates.

The Bridge Coulee Fire crossed the Musselshell River to the west and Highway 200 to the south on Friday evening. The highway was temporarily closed on Friday evening and Saturday morning, but has since reopened. Travelers are advised that Highway 200 could be closed again because of poor visibility or fire activity.

Flaggers and signs are being used to urge drivers to travel slowly through the area due to the fire and smoke conditions.

The fire’s growth resulted in significant evacuation notifications on Friday evening. Evacuations remain in place for residents North of Highway 200 to Fort Peck Lake and West of Edwards Road in Garfield County. Red Cross has set up an evacuation shelter at the VFW Hall in Jordan.

The South Breaks Fire burned into and around the Square Butte Fire on Friday. Those fires continue to grow. There are reports that the South Breaks/Square Butte Fires may have burned into the Barker Fire on Friday evening due to the gusty winds and extreme fire behavior. 

Active burnout operations were used on Friday evening in an effort to keep the fire from affecting primary residences, livestock, and grazing lands. Crews will continue structure protection and re-evaluate contingency lines on Saturday.

Click here for more information.

RELATED: 

Evacuations ordered in Lodgepole Complex Fire

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