The Billings Outpost

Sarpy Creek fire partly contained


Most wildfire on the Sarpy Hills complex today consisted of isolated smokes burning in the interior of the fire.  Massive numbers of engines are mopping up burning material that could possibly threaten firelines.  The 82,000 acre fire is 65 percent contained.

Some of the 701 personnel on the incident are working in the northeast corner of the Crow Reservation on fires that have become part of the Rosebud Complex.   They have relieved Big Horn County resources who worked several days on those fires.  At night about 300 people are “spiked” (camping out) at a cow camp on Sarpy Basin Road.  Heavy equipment is staging on firelines and at the Multipurpose building in Crow Agency to respond speedily to any running fire.   

The National Weather Service again predicts critical fire weather Monday through Wednesday for three days of possible lightning on the Reservation without rain.  High temperatures in Crow reach 97 to 102 degrees the next four days, through Thursday.

The fire did not harm the landscape in the pine highlands of Castle Rock or south of US Highway 212.  It burned on the ground beneath the ponderosa pines, fertilizing the forest floor without killing too many trees.  Ponderosa pines do not mind gentle fires.  They carry thick bark as an adaptation to fire.  This landscape will be green again soon after rain. 


Crews will be beginning a process of rehabilitating firelines in some areas where grass fires are cold.  They will be pulling dozer berms back onto scraped areas, partially recovering dozer lines with topsoil.

Managers visited a public meeting Sunday in Lame Deer to listen and share with Northern Cheyenne residents, who have dealt this week with smoke and evacuations from fires.

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