Lightning across the Sarpy Hills Tuesday night has sparked seven new fires on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. A media release from the Bureau of Indian Affairs states that the East Sarpy fire has covered over 40,000 acres since it was first detected Wednesday morning. Air tankers, two helicopters, and at least seven engines are on the fire with additional resources en route.
The West Tullock Creek fire is at 169 acres with four engines and a squad of firefighters battling that blaze. The Little Dry Creek fire is holding at 200 acres, the Castle Rock II fire is holding at 500 acres with three engines, and the Dawes fire is 30 acres with three helitack, one engine and a grader on it. A single engine spent Tuesday night containing the 30 acre Cottonwood Creek fire west of Two Leggins.
The media release indicates that all Crow engines were on the fires throughout the overnight along with Big Horn County Rural Fire resources and many local ranchers. The area is not heavily populated but includes some ranch homesteads and the Westmoreland Sarpy Creek coal mine, several miles from the nearest fire.
All the active fires are at least ten miles northeast of Crow Agency, south of the Sarpy Creek Road, in the northeast corner of the Reservation, and are burning in grass with some ponderosa pine hills.