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Big Horn County fire still remains a threat to 100 homes

Big Horn County fire still remains a threat to 100 homes
Posted at 4:07 PM, Sep 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-06 18:07:26-04

The Sarpy fire continues to threaten about 100 structures based on expected winds Sunday with incredibly fast fire movement in the dry grass, and is 50% contained as of Saturday night, the fire is currently burning at 51,981 acres.

The fire started from unknown causes about 2 p.m. south of the Westmoreland Absaloka coal mine on the Crow reservation, according to John Kohn, the Crow Ageny BIA fire information officer.

The Sarpy fire pushed 15 miles south in seven hours, driven by 52-mile-per-hour winds, 94-degree temperatures and dry conditions along the border of the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations, according to Kohn.

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe has an evacuation order from the Reservation line east to Iron Bridge (Rosebud Creek). Only emergency personnel and residents are permitted on US 212 there, mainly because of smoke on the highway.

This fire is similar to the Sarpy Complex eight years ago in the same area, which burned more than 85,000 acres in a day and also headed south overnight to US 212 where it burned a trailer home and threatened other homes.

Many resources have converged on this incident including BIA Crow Agency fire engines, Big Horn County Rural Fire engines and support vehicles, BIA Northern Cheyenne engines and dozers and crew, local ranchers, and other responders.