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Wildfire near Colstrip grows to nearly 63K acres, highway closed

Evacuation warning for Ashland area
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Posted at 11:57 AM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 14:17:27-04

BILLINGS — The Northern Cheyenne Disaster & Emergency Services agency has issued an evacuation notice for areas near Ashland.

According to a Facebook post, the areas include residents in the area of Ashland Divide, Rabbit Town, N Tongue River Road, St. Labre Campus, and East Highway 212.

The post states:

  • We are now at Level 3 of evacuation. Police Officers will be going door to door to notify home owners and residents. This is not a mandatory evacuation but to keep yourself safe.
  • Please mindfully make your way to Lame Deer Boys and Girls Club We do not want anyway one in front of the fire.
  • There will be traffic control in route to Ashland. Do not panic!!!
  • If you need help or a ride please call 477 - 6914. There is structure protection enroute from NCVFD and NCHA to reservation Creek

The Type 3 wildfire was reported on Sunday afternoon on private land about 10 miles south of Colstrip.



(1st REPORT, 11:23 a.m.) The Richard Spring Fire burning south/southwest of Colstrip in Rosebud County is now estimated at nearly 63,000 acres and again forced the closure of Highway 39 late Tuesday morning.

The fire has forced the closure of Highway 39 several times. The highway was briefly opened Tuesday morning to limited traffic before authorities announced it was closed again later in the morning.

It is now the largest active fire in the state and is nearing the size of the PF Fire in Big Horn County that burned 66,134 acres before it was fully contained.

There was no containment reported on the Richard Spring Fire as of Tuesday morning. There were 131 personnel working on the blaze.

The cause of the wildfire has not yet been determined.