July Fire now at 10K+ acres, about 50% contained - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

July Fire now at 10K+ acres, about 50% contained

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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 burned an estimated 10,662 acres near the communities of Zortman and Landusky as of Monday afternoon.

There have been no reports of injuries, and no homes or businesses have been destroyed. Several out-buildings have been destroyed.

More than 430 firefighters are engaged in fighting the huge fire.

Officials estimate that the fire is about 50% contained as of Monday afternoon.

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. 

The fire is contained on the east flank and has not crossed State Route 66 to the south or Seven Mile Road to the east.

The fire is within 1/2 mile of the Fort Belknap Reservation and Blaine County.

Officials say their objective is to contain the fire on the northwest flank within upper Mill Gulch and Alder Gulch, limiting fire effects to Landusky Mine site and Ft. Belknap Reservation.

Crews were busy Sunday due to increased fire activity along Alder Gulch. They continue to advance fire line construction on the northern fire boundary, improve existing fire lines, and work to improve contingency lines. 

The communities of Hays, Landusky, Zortman, and Lodgepole are being monitored for increased fire activity due to recent weather changes and possible erratic winds. 

Night operations will patrol the areas around Zortman and Landusky looking for hot spots along existing lines, extinguishing hot areas as appropriate, as well as continued structure protection among the communities. 

Safety Advisory: Residents and visitors should please 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, such as fire-weakened trees, create additional hazards and firefighters are continuing to work in the area.

PREVIOUSLY: July Fire explodes to 8,300+ acres

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