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Smoke filled sky

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Anonymous

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It's gettin' awful smokey here right now; don't know where the smoke is coming from, but the Ashland fire is a lot closer to us. It's supposed to be 95 with a forty mile an hour wind here tomorrow, so that won't help much.

Blaze near Columbus expands
By BECKY SHAY
Of The Gazette Staff

The Cottonwood Creek fire between Columbus and Park City had significant growth Saturday.

The size nearly tripled to about 3,565 acres through a combination of gusting winds and better mapping, information officer Lee Schmelzer said.

A county assist team, based in Lewistown, took over managing the fire Saturday evening.


While the managers took their place, fire crews had a slight reprieve because temperatures cooled and winds slowed, he said.

"Mid-afternoon had a pretty good growth for a while," Schmelzer said. But about 7 p.m. it was "kind of lying back down - for a while."

About 30 people are on the new management team, Schmelzer said. About 70 volunteer firefighters from Columbus, Park City, Absarokee, Nye, Molt, Reed Point, Laurel, Rapelje, Red Lodge, Fromberg, Joliet and Big Timber fought the fire Friday and Saturday. The Bureau of Land Management also sent crews. Schmelzer said the new management team flew over the fire to size it up and may "draw on some local resources."

The fire was reported about 5 p.m. Friday and is burning between Columbus and Park City. The blaze made wind-driven runs to the south and east Saturday. It is burning on ranch and state land, Schmelzer said. The Pinecrest subdivision, to the northeast, continued to be out of the fire's path Saturday but was still protected by an engine crew in case of shifting winds.

Some landowners moved livestock and bales Saturday, but Schmelzer said he was not aware of property losses beyond fencing.

Road graders and bulldozers helped cut firelines. Air support included two helicopters owned by the state, said Mark Heppler at the Billings Interagency Dispatch Center. Federal aircraft also flew over the fire, including a heavy air tanker and two single-engine planes.

The heavy air tankers made eight to 10 drops of slurry - that's 20,000 to 25,000 gallons of retardant. The single-engine planes made a similar number of drops, he said, accounting for between 6,400 and 8,000 gallons.

The fire sent up a huge plume of smoke Friday evening. That smoke was trapped in the greater Yellowstone Valley overnight, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist.

"(The smoke) kind of got socked in here overnight, and we're seeing the effects of that," Joe Lester said early Saturday afternoon.

The smoke abated as the day wore on, likely driven out by the same winds that pushed the fire.

Schmelzer said spectators are encouraged to stay off of roads around the fire.

"There was one report of people stopping on Old Highway 10 and nearly causing accidents," he said.

In other fire news, the Ericksons Spring fire, southeast of Ashland, blew up Friday afternoon but might be contained by tonight.

That fire started when lightning passed through earlier in the week, said Dena Lang, a spokeswoman with the BLM's Miles City Dispatch Center. Crews stayed on the fire as it moved into patrol status, but then wind and low humidity took over.

"It was just the right formula" to help boost the fire, she said. "It's a long and narrow fire, definitely wind-driven."

Mapping showed the charred area was about 2,700 acres Saturday afternoon. The size had been estimated as large as 4,000 acres.

Humidity levels improved, and cool weather overnight into Saturday helped hold the fire, she said. Crews "hit it really hard" on Saturday morning, Lang said.

Throughout the day, there was isolated torching in the interior of the fire and crews were reburning in some pockets of timber, said Amy Tague, lead dispatcher in Miles City.

Winds died down, and the fire settled Saturday afternoon, giving crews hope that they could have it contained by 6 p.m. today, she said.

"The fire is laying nicely, for them," Tague said.
 

ranchwife

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gotta ask, jake.....where are you???? I am in ennis, montana...about 60 miles south/southwest of bozeman (Bozangeles) and the smoke is killing us down here!! Sunsets are awful red as are most folks eyes!!! Making the throats sore and folks getting nasty coughs...sure could use a nice breeze to blow the stuff outta here!! :shock:
 
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Anonymous

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I'm about 25 miles east of the Montana/SD border. About halfway between Alzada and Ekalaka for a Montana reference. :wink:

The smoke isn't quite that bad here, but there is a lot of smoke in the SW skyline. I would think ours was from Ashland, but I don't know for sure, as it can travel a long way. Some locals were thinking there was a fire between here and the Mont. line, but thankfully- no.

Tomorrow out to scour it out of here. That makes me nervous to have that heat/wind combo.
 

Hanta Yo

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It's pretty smokey here, too. Comes in the a.m. and settles in. Been wondering where the fires are, thanks for the info, RJ. We've had our share of fires on this place and we get very nervous when we smell smoke. With all the good, tall, dry grass and thick trees around here, I don't know if we could stop a fire now. We're supposed to have thunderstorms this afternoon with little chance of rain :cry: that means lightening. Supposed to cool off starting tomorrow - as hot as it's been I'm half expecting fires to start by spontaneous combustion, it's sooo dry.
 

ranchwife

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the real jake said:
I'm about 25 miles east of the Montana/SD border. About halfway between Alzada and Ekalaka for a Montana reference. :wink:

The smoke isn't quite that bad here, but there is a lot of smoke in the SW skyline. I would think ours was from Ashland, but I don't know for sure, as it can travel a long way. Some locals were thinking there was a fire between here and the Mont. line, but thankfully- no.

Tomorrow out to scour it out of here. That makes me nervous to have that heat/wind combo.

Got relatives in Ekalaka...the hubby's place of birth!! Is is true, as the hubby says, that "Ekalaka is not the end of the world....but you can see it from there?" :wink:
 
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Anonymous

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ranchwife said:
the real jake said:
I'm about 25 miles east of the Montana/SD border. About halfway between Alzada and Ekalaka for a Montana reference. :wink:

The smoke isn't quite that bad here, but there is a lot of smoke in the SW skyline. I would think ours was from Ashland, but I don't know for sure, as it can travel a long way. Some locals were thinking there was a fire between here and the Mont. line, but thankfully- no.

Tomorrow out to scour it out of here. That makes me nervous to have that heat/wind combo.

Got relatives in Ekalaka...the hubby's place of birth!! Is is true, as the hubby says, that "Ekalaka is not the end of the world....but you can see it from there?" :wink:

If Ekalaka isn't then Alzada is :lol: :lol: I remember at the State Sheriff's meetings we used to call Ekalaka and Eureka the ends of the earth- something like 800 or 900 miles to travel from one to the other- absolute opposites between the geography around the two towns showing the diversity of this great State.....
 
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Anonymous

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ranchwife says,

Got relatives in Ekalaka...the hubby's place of birth!! Is is true, as the hubby says, that "Ekalaka is not the end of the world....but you can see it from there?"

I'm confused? :???: Does that mean this is the end of the world if you were to look SE from Ekalaka? :D :D

I'm sure I would know some of the same people as he would then. Or at the least I have heard of them. I go brand up in that general area every spring.
 

ranchwife

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Just read in the montana standard that there are a few fires in idaho that are making for some hazy skies here in montana!! We have had a run of asthma attacks and "sore throats and eyes" in our little emergency room the past week!!! Getting some rain today and I hope they are too...get this calmed down a bit!! :)
 

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Winds fan fires; Skalkaho closed


By the Standard Staff - 08/30/2005



DILLON — A cold front passing across eastern Idaho and southwest Montana Monday fanned existing fires and brought a few others to life.
Winds reaching 55 mph at Skalkaho Pass led highway officials to close the route, Highway 38, as the Signal Rock fire, south of the road, roared to life.

Meantime, a helicopter assigned to the Signal Rock fire found a new fire in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness, about seven miles southwest of Moose Lake and 28 miles southwest of Philipsburg, in Granite County. The fire was estimated at 50-60 acres in dense forest. A helicopter and a crew of firefighters were dispatched.

Winds also reawakened the Curly fire, 14 miles northeast of Twin Bridges in the Tobacco Root Mountains. A 20-person fire crew and a helicopter are dispatched. The Curly fire was originally contained on Aug. 17 and had burned 15 acres. On Monday, it burned 15 more acres.

A fire on Henneberry Ridge, 17 miles southwest of Dillon, near Clark Canyon Dam, reported at 6:45 p.m. Monday was contained at 70 acres.

Throughout the afternoon, as winds whipped through Dillon, residents could see a large column of smoke to the southwest. Officials said the smoke was from the Patterson and Falls Creek fires, both in the Pahsimeroi Valley, south of Leadore, Idaho.


TWIN BRIDGES IS ONLY ABOUT 40 MILES FROM OUR PLACE...SURE HOPE THIS MOISTURE HELPS OUT!!!
 
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Anonymous

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ranchwife, you asked earlier where I put my feet up at night after the end of the day. Well, I thought of something that was in our local historical book commemerating the first fifty years of our local town, and county seat. I will put some of it here for you, as I thought is was pretty well written.

It is well said that when God had nearly finished His task of creating the world, He paused, looked for an ideal location near the center of the great land of America. Having found the location, he took some of the most beautiful valley material, some of the richest and poorest of soils, some of the purest water and finest grass, mixed with wild flowers and prairie plants, and built a corner to be named Harding County. He then cast about for the most courageous and neighborly people and instilled in their hearts the spirit of adventure, that they might people this chosen spot. End.

This may be a bit flowery, but it was a nice tribute to the hearty folks that pioneered here.

I have always been interested in the local history. I love hearing stories of the oldtimers in the area. From where I sit, the Deadwood/Medora ND stage passed within a half mile from here. I can still see several places on our ranch where the wagon ruts are visible. My grandparents on both sides were among the first in the area, and set up businesses here. One was a freighter with teams and wagons, one was here before the state was in existance, and later ran remount horses, cattle and sheep, one was in the ranching and saddle shop business, and so on. This includes the step-grandparent side, which started the ranch we are on now.

And the best part of the country around here are the good people, which make an area what it is worth. Without good people it wouldn't be worth much. IMHO.
 
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Anonymous

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Now, getting back on topic, :wink: we have very smoky air after the cold front passed through here today. Philip SD which is probably 150 miles from here got up to 103 deg. today, and just a bit ago Sheridan Wyo which is just a bit further to the west, was 53 degrees. What a difference!

I hope they get a handle on the fires over your way ranchwife. Calling for snow possibly NW of you.
 

ranchwife

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rained like crazy all morning and much of the afternoon...when the skies cleared, there was snow on the mountain tops and some of the higher foot hills!!!! The skies are clear now and things are looking better!
 

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