Four Montana fires destroy homes, dozens evacuated

Firefighters were using bulldozers and harrows to plow fire breaks since water alone can not put out the flames driven by high temperatures, lack of rain and gusty winds, said Tim Engrav, a spokesman for the firefighter coordination center. The declaration will allow the state to mobilize additional resources and the National Guard to help fight the fires.Miller says a lot of Garfield County residents are extremely jumpy right now because a lightning storm passed over the area last night. Between a historic drought and recent hot temperatures, low humidity and shifting winds, conditions have been ripe for fires to take off.The Bridge Coulee Fire was discovered Wednesday afternoon, 16 miles north of Mosby, Mont.There have been no casualties reported from the fire, however there has been structure loss.The blaze continued to grow on Friday. They’re also asking if people want to help out the affected ranchers by building fence, donating fencing materials, providing cattle feed and gathering cattle. By the end of the day, acreage estimates were up to 200,000 acres and a dozen homes had burned. Fortunately, the fire was growing Tuesday at slower rate than previously.By Tuesday evening, a firefighting force consisting of 650 personnel had managed to carve buffer lines around 36 percent of the blaze’s perimeter, up from a containment level of 20 percent reported earlier in the day, fire officials said. “It’s the least we can do for the rancher in Jordan who no longer has his cattle”.The so-called Lodgepole Complex fire has so far laid waste to an estimated 270,000 acres (109,000 hectares) of sagebrush, grasslands and timber near the Missouri River in eastern Montana, Engrav said.A command post was established in Sand Springs on Saturday, and firefighters and equipment continued to arrive Sunday and Monday. About 50 homes in the area are under evacuation orders.