RED LODGE- — With evacuation warning in place in the area of the Robertson Draw fire south of Red Lodge, many residents are waiting anxiously to see if they have to leave their homes, including Shawna Brown.
Brown recalls seeing the orange glow of the fire just before it eclipsed the ridge and began burning down the mountain.
“If it passes that ridge tonight then we’ll leave,” Brown recalls telling her family as they packed their most valuable and irreplaceable possessions into their vehicles.
Brown says she stayed up most of the night watching the fire and making sure her family and herself were safe.
“I was very emotional. Just because it’s you know, pretty sad to see it burn. I think deep down we knew our house would be okay but just to see your woods burn down right there in front of you is kind of hard,” says Brown.
Brown also recalls a time early this spring where she was hiking Mt. Maurice (the mountain where the Robertson Draw fire is currently burning) with her family, and she mentioned to her husband how “cruchy and dry” the ground was.
The residents are still under evacuation warnings, but Brown says they have not heard anything from the police since last night.
As of Wednesday morning, no structures have been damaged in the fire.
The Robertson Draw fire was estimated at 2,000 acres at 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, and by 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday the blaze was estimated at 21,000 acres.
“Today’s (Wednesday’s) main focuses are structure protection and building a containment line around the fire,” says Billie Chapman, the public information officer for Custer Gallatin National Forest.
The fire has now eclipsed a mountain ridge that faces west, this makes the flames visible from Red Lodge.