Governor Visits Rock Creek Fire - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Governor Visits Rock Creek Fire

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RED LODGE -

The Rock Creek Fire is at 900 acres with 10-percent contained along the north side. 120 people continue to battle the blaze.

The area closure is still in effect. The Silver Run, Ingles Creek, and Beartrack trails are closed. As fire crews fight the flames, Governor Steve Bullock stopped by to get briefed and see what they need.

With many fires in the region, resources are tight.

"It is heartening to know that everybody is working together real well, but also to find out what might be needed," Governor Bullock said.

Governor Bullock took an aerial tour of the fire after being briefed on the fire's status. Fighting the Rock Creek Fire is now priority number two, not just for Montana, but for the nation.

"It's good to get an on the ground or above the air perspective of sort of where the fire is or how close it is to the homes, these are expensive," Bullock said. "These are challenging but I don't want these folks thinking about the expense or the challenge. I want them to make sure they can do their job and want to do everything I can to facilitate that."

The fire team ordered more resources, which include four hotshot crews.

"These are the elite hotshot firefighters who have the most experience with these high-level, complex fires," said Barbara Pitman, the fire's information officer. "They will help by adding additional really experienced crews. As of now, the west side of the fire is active and we have had little control or little work able to be done on that side so the additional crews will help in some of these areas."

What started the fire is still under investigation, but officials believe it was human-caused.

More than 100 structures are considered threatened but there are no evacuations in effect. Homes along U.S. Highway 212 are on Stage One alert, meaning residents need to be ready to get out when they get the word from fire officials.

Officials want to remind travelers that Highway 212 is open to all traffic with a 35 mph speed limit through the fire area.

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