Montana town emptied

Police drove the streets of the town of Lame Deer last night, using loudspeakers to warn residents to grab their belongings and get out of town. An Associated Press story in the Washington Post reported that buses were lined up Thursday night to evacuate the entire population of 2,000 from the Northern Cheyenne Reservation community.

Desi Small-Rodriguez with the tribe’s disaster and emergency services department said the Chalky Fire threatened to burn Lame Deer, the seat of the southeastern Montana reservation. The fire had burned two homes, and then winds pushed the fire straight toward town. Carol Raymond, Rosebud County’s head of disaster and emergency services, had driven from Forsyth to assess the situation. “I figured the whole town of Lame Deer would go up in flames,” she said.

Chalky Fire on Montana's Rosebud Complex
Chalky Fire on Montana’s Rosebud Complex

This is the second major fire to burn on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation this year. The Ash Creek Fire in June burned 18 homes, forced evacuations, and resulted in $20,000 of damage to tribal property. The Chalky Fire is the largest in the Rosebud Complex, which includes six active fires. Crews have made good progress on the fires burning on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations, and officials today lifted evacuation notices and re-opened the roads closed by fire activity. “We got some precip on the fire this morning and that really helped,” said LaDawn Saxton, information officer with BIA Northern Cheyenne Fire and Aviation.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.