Rock Creek Fire Kept in Canyon - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Rock Creek Fire Kept in Canyon

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RED LODGE -

The Rock Creek Fire south of Red Lodge is at 800 acres with zero-percent containment. But the fire has been kept in the canyon.

The Rock Creek Resort has reopened today and all residents south of the fire remain on pre-evacuation notice. Fire crews and the city have been working together to accommodate the city's events.

The Beartooth Pass reopened at 2 PM on Thursday. The Department of Transportation says the speed limit on Highway 212 between mile marker 62 and 65 is reduced, and they ask you to use extreme caution when going through the area.

A Type 2 Northern Rockies Incident Management Team took over managing the fire from the local teams.

The team is setting up their command center at the Red Lodge fairgrounds.

"We're just trying to extend off what the Type 3 team, like I said, I can't say enough about how much work was done by the Type 3 team before we got here," said Shawn Pearson, incident commander of a Type 2 Northern Rockies Incident Management. "They set us up for success and now we're trying to expand on what they worked on."

Their top priorities are the structures near the fire off Highway 212. They have been using mapping and aerial resources to help fight the fire. Pearson said the Northern Rockies fires are the number one priority in the country.

Red Lodge is still planning on hosting their events despite the fire. Hundreds of cyclists will be coming for Cycle Greater Yellowstone, but because of the fire, the city had to adapt.

"The negative impact is that people hear there's a fire and immediately start to try to find an alternate route to the park, which you can get to the park from here even if the highway was closed," said Glory Mahan, Red Lodge Chamber of Commerce board member.

The city has switched their lodging to the rodeo grounds since the fire crews needed the fair grounds.

"There's plenty of room up there to accommodate them very well," Mahan said. "The whole community is geared up to support them. We've been working for over a year, so we've got it handled. Everybody learns how flexible Red Lodge can be."

The city has dealt with many fires in the past. Red Lodge will continue working with the fire team to accommodate local needs as well as the fires.

Fire officials say the weather is favorable today, but they are preparing plans for hotter, drier weather. They have ordered more resources as well.

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