GREAT FALLS – Firefighters responded on Wednesday to the Crying Fire in Petroleum County, which has burned about 5,000 acres as of Wednesday night.
It’s located west of the Musselshell River and about 30 miles northeast of Winnett.
The Crying Fire was reported mid-day and has burned approximately 5,000 acres in grass, sage, and timber on Bureau of Land Management, private, state, and Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge lands.
The fire is within about 1.5 miles of five structures near the end of 79 Trail.
Crews have responded from BLM, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Montana Dept. of Natural Resources, and Petroleum County.
There are approximately 40 Wildland Firefighters, including Helitack, 12 engines, 1 Type-3 BLM Helicopter, 1 Air Attack Plane and 2 Canadian CL212 Scooper Planes providing initial attack efforts. There is no containment at this early phase of initial attack.
Command of fire transitioned from DNRC Incident Commander A.J. Angelo to BLM Incident Commander Scott Meneely at the end of the day July 19.
Crews have been responding to several wildland fire starts in central and Eastern Montana throughout the day.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.