BLM photo

GREAT FALLS – The “July Fire” burning near Zortman and Landusky is now suspected to be human-caused.

There is no word yet whether it was intentional or accidental, but a source told MTN News last week that he saw what appeared to be remnants of a campfire in the area where the fire originated.

Law enforcement officers from the federal Bureau of Land Management confirmed that they suspected it was human-caused, but are not releasing any further information as the investigation continues.

There have been no reported injuries.

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On Tuesday, officials determined that one burned structure, originally thought to be an outbuilding, was actually a small recreational cabin.

The fire was reported on Monday July 3.

As of Wednesday, the fire had burned an estimated 11,093 acres and is 70 percent contained. Fire officials estimated that they could have the fire 100 percent contained by Friday. The fire is contained on the east flank and has not crossed State Route 66 to the south or Seven Mile Road to the east.

The fire is within a half of a mile of the Fort Belknap Reservation and Blaine County.

There are about 400 personnel assigned to the fire. The cost so far of fighting the fire is an estimated $3.2 million.

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