Fire Crews Battle Rock Creek Fire - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Fire Crews Battle Rock Creek Fire

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Fire crews are battling a wildfire five miles south of Red Lodge. The Rock Creek fire is on the west side of Highway 212, near Rock Creek resort.

The latest estimates say it's burned about 500-acres, mostly in steep, heavily timbered terrain. A type-two incident management team is expected to arrive Wednesday.

Meanwhile, firefighters are using heavy tankers and bulldozers to block the fire's progress.

"Air and the ground, but we don't have a lot of firefighters on the ground cutting line. Most of that's being done with equipment right now to protect structures down here near the bottom of the fire," said Jeff Gildehaus; Forest Service PIO.

Several homes and the Rock Creek resort have been evacuated. Residents and visitors alike are keeping a wary eye on the fire, which is believed to be human-caused.

"Well, I noticed ash was coming down in town and seen a lot of smoke up here and I knew from the Willy fire before it had to be close being that the smoke was so visible from where I was at in town. I just hope that nobody gets hurt, and they don't lose any property and everybody, you know, is safe," said Red Lodge resident Mike Smith.

The fire has caused some road closures in that area. No traffic is allowed southbound on Highway 212 after mile marker 65.2, also known as "Point of the Rocks," and that's the case for local traffic too.

The closure extends to Wyoming-296, also known as the Chief Joseph Highway. Traffic there is being redirected back to Cooke City, or down Wyoming-296. Northbound traffic from the Beartooth Pass is allowed to go through.

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