Fire on 64th Street West - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Fire on 64th Street West

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BILLINGS -  A fire between Billings and Laurel sparked around lunch time Thursday and quickly spread through a farmer's field, threatening a nearby home. Laurel Volunteer Fire Department, Billings Fire Department, and DNRC crews were able to contain the fire to about 20 acres. Corey McIlvain, Deputy Fire Chief for the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department, says crews were able to focus on defending several structures on the southeast end of the field thanks to a fire breaks in the area.

"With this road, and the green crop here, the corn - excellent fire break," said McIlvain while standing on the north edge of the field. "64th Street to the east of us, again, excellent fire break. Not a lot of wind, so we weren't real concerned about it jumping these fire breaks, and that allowed our folks to really focus on the south end where we had structures."

The southeast corner of the field was the most important point for fire crews. That's where Frank Dulecheck lives. Dulecheck has witnessed previous fires in the fields near his house. He says one of them destroyed a boxcar on his property. After watching the firefighters defend his property, he could say enough about them.
     
"They did really well.  They do a good job, those people do," Dulecheck says. "They come in and they hit it from every angle they can."

Some hay bales promised to be lingering hot spots, but another neighbor, Fisher Sand and Gravel, sent over a front-end loader to knock the bales down so they couldn't continue to smolder inside.

Firefighters believed a hay baler likely sparked the fire.

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