WeatherWildfire Watch


Cottonwood fire burns nearly 500 acres east of Townsend

Posted at 8:49 AM, Sep 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-12 11:12:52-04

Fire crews performed mop up operations on Tuesday for the Cottonwood fire that burned nearly 500 acres seven miles east of Townsend.

Firefighters cleared trees, bushes, and dug up stumps throughout the day to ensure the fire doesn’t spread.

In total, the fire burned 499 acres in grass and timber terrains near US Highway 12.

No injuries were reported and no structures were damaged.

Firefighters first responded around 6 p.m. on Monday after a planned weed burn on a farm escaped the fire line.

The landowner had a burn permit before he started the fire. He had completed a successful burn earlier on Monday .

However, fire officials believe the fire line for the planned burn should have been about twice the size it was.

Broadwater County Rural Fire District Chief Ed Shindoll said responders from Townsend, Duck Creek, Winston, Radersberg, Toston, the DNRC, and the Forest Service spent 10 hours fighting the wildland fire on Monday night.

Shindoll stressed that people need to be cautious and vigilant when starting a burn and urged residents to contact their local fire officials if they have questions.

“Your district fire personnel would be happy to go out and explain some stuff or give you some different ideas,” said Shindoll. “Working the line is good but you need to have barren soil when you do it and the wider the better.”

Shindoll believed that if the weather hadn’t been in the fire crews’ favor, the fire could have been thousands of acres instead of hundreds.

Shindoll added he is incredibly proud of the work the fire crews did fighting the fire and greatly appreciated the mutual aid agencies that responded.

-Reporting by John Riley