July Fire in Phillips County now at more than 10,000 acres - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

July Fire in Phillips County now at more than 10,000 acres

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July Fire in Phillips County July Fire in Phillips County
July Fire in Phillips County July Fire in Phillips County

The "July Fire" has now burned an estimated 10,447 acres near the communities of Zortman and Landusky.

There have been no reports of injuries.

The community and structure protection efforts of the fire management team have been very successful. No homes have been destroyed by the fire, but five outbuilding or sheds have been damaged. The successful fire suppression operations were made possible by the pre-fire season work that was done by the community residents.

The fuels mitigation work that was done, as well as the fire-wise residences, provided safer working conditions that allowed firefighters to protect structures and aggressively suppress the fire.

More than 400 firefighters are engaged in fighting the huge fire.

Officials estimate that the fire is about 45% contained as of Sunday morning.

Residents of Landusky were allowed re-entry to their homes on Saturday after being evacuated on Thursday.

Fire crews, personnel and equipment will continue to work in the area and residents are encouraged to stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Smoke, smoldering debris and fire weakened tree hazards are still present. 

Crews continue to advance fire line construction on the northern fire boundary as well as improve and install fire lines and contingency lines. Landusky and the surrounding areas are being monitored for possible fire changes. Night operations will continue and involve looking for hot spots along existing lines, extinguishing hot areas as appropriate, as well as continued structure protection near the communities of Landusky and Zortman. 

The Alder Creek Drainage is an area of concern and being closely monitored for changes in fire activity. 
The weather is expected to remain hot and dry, with no chance of rain. Winds are forecasted to shift from the North to the South during the day posing challenges to crews. 

Fire Area Restrictions: Residents and visitors should restrict use of off highway vehicles, ATV’s, hiking, horseback riding, and other recreational activities in the fire area, and should remain well outside the fire perimeter. Post-fire effects like fire weakened trees create additional hazards and firefighters are continuing to work in the area. 

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