Forest / Wild Fire in USA on July 24 2017 03:04 AM (UTC).
The Lodgepole Complex Fire raging just south of the Missouri River Breaks near Jordan doubled its size Saturday night to reach 200,000 acres by early Sunday morning. Gov. Steve Bullock declared a fire emergency in the state in response following briefings from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and Disaster and Emergency Services at the Department of Military Affairs. Bullock has also been in contact Rick Connell, the Incident Commander at the Lodgepole Complex area. The fire is still zero percent contained, as reported by Inci-web. There are 300 personnel assigned to the area. The executive order allows Bullock "to mobilize additional state resources and the Montana National Guard to combat the fires, as well as expend funds to meet the contingencies and needs that may arise from them," according to a press release. "Montana is facing extreme fire conditions," Bullock said. "Our top priority is ensuring the safety of Montanans, their property, and our communities. This declaration provides additional resources to the brave men and women fighting these fires. As firefighters battle blazes across the state, Montanans must stay vigilant about active fires in their area, obey any evacuation orders, and prevent any actions that might spark new fires." There is an evacuation order underway in Garfield County north of Highway 200 to Fort Peck Lake and West of Edwards Road. The American Red Cross of Montana has opened up a shelter at the VFW in Jordan. The shelter is located at the junction of Main Street and Montana Highway 200. All Red Cross services are free. Drivers along the fire area of Highway 200 can expect intermittent, temporary closures of the highway between Jordan and Winnett. Drivers are also asked to drive slowly and watch for exiting and entering trucks and fire engines as they pass the Fire Command Post and Base Camp in Sand Springs. The wildfire ignited the afternoon of Wednesday, July 19. The cause of the fire is unknown. The fire complex includes the Bridge Coulee Fire, the South Breaks Fire, the Barker Fire and the Square Butte Fire. The Bridge Coulee fire jumped the Mussellshell River into the Lewistown Zone and then jumped again south of Highway 200 on Friday. Structures have been lost as a result of the fire. More structures are threatened on the Bridge Coulee portion of the fire west of the Mussellshell River in Petroleum County. Residents living in the Black Butte subdivision outside of White Sulphur Springs have also received an evacuation notice in relation to dangers from the Chinn Fire. The fire is threatening power line infrastructure and local residences. There are 125 personnel assigned to the 7,090 acre Chinn Fire. So far, it is 50 percent contained. The Red Cross also recommends delegating responsibilities within your household, assembling an emergency kit in case of evacuation, enter emergency numbers into all cell phones, plan ahead for pets and livestock, establish a place to meet if your family gets separated, plan and practice evacuation routes and gather important documents like banking, medical and insurance records. If an evacuation is imminent, the Red Cross recommends families pay attention to local radio and television stations for emergency information and prepare their homes. Windows and doors should be closed, but not locked, to limit inhalation of smoke and dust. Keep curtains, blinds and shutters closed. Be sure to turn air conditioners to "recycle" mode. Exterior lights should be turned on, flammable items from decks and porches should be removed and hoses should be connected to outside spigots. The Red Cross recommends marking all water sources on your property and leaving ladders available for firefighters.