The Lodgepole Complex fire in Central Montana started back on July 19th. The cause of the fire is still unknown but what we do know is that 226,000 acres have burned currently and of that 226,000 acres…none of it is contained. This wasn’t just one fire, this was multiple fires that joined to form one extremely large fire.
Fires included in this Complex are as follows:
Bridge Coulee, South Breaks, Barker. Square Butte.
Firefighters have been working containment lines and providing structure protection. The fire was active on the northern side due to southerly winds. There are 215+ people assigned to the fire, with more on order and arriving daily. As resources arrive they are being sent out to the fire.
Twelve homes have been destroyed, as well as an untold but significant amount of fencing and haystacks. Just over 50 people who live north of Highway 200 in western Garfield County remain under evacuation.
There is a chance of isolated thunderstorms with dry lightning ahead of a Monday morning cold front passage which will cause winds to shift out of the northwest at 15-25 mph. This could cause an increase in fire activity especially to the south and east. A Red Flag Warning remains in effect through 9:00 p.m. Monday for northern Montana east of the Continental Divide.
Although, the Lodgepole fire is the biggest fire in Montana currently, it is only 1 of 18 fires currently burning.
Keep checking WeatherNationTV on air and inline for the most current updates on the wildfires burning out west.
for WeatherNation: Meteorologist Andy Stein