Robertson Draw Fire in Southern Montana prompts evacuations

Update at 7:44 p.m. MDT June 15, 2021

satellite photo two wildfires in Montana June 15, 2021
Satellite photo showing the smoke from two wildfires in Montana at 7:41 p.m. MDT June 15, 2021; the Deep Creek and Robertson Draw Fires. The Robertson Draw Fire shows massive growth over the previous three and a half hours. NASA. GOES 16.

The satellite photo taken by GOES 16 at 7:41 p.m. MDT June 15 shows an enormous smoke plume from the Robertson Draw Fire spreading to the northeast. It is heading directly to Billings, the lights from which can be seen through the smoke.

To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Robertson Draw Fire, including the most recent, click HERE.


5:13 p.m. MDT June 15, 2021

map Robertson Draw Fire
Map showing the location of the Robertson Draw Fire. The red dots represent heat detected by a satellite at 3 a.m. MDT June 15, 2021. The other colors are from earlier satellite overflights.

The Robertson Draw Fire 9 miles south of Red Lodge, Montana is burning vigorously Tuesday afternoon, producing a very large smoke column easily seen on satellite photos.

Tuesday morning firefighters estimated the size at 2,000 acres but that number could be very different by the time the sun sets.

The fire is in south-central Montana one mile north of the MT/WY state line, and five miles east of the famous switchbacks on the Beartooth Highway, US 212.

3-D map Robertson Draw Fire
3-D map showing the APPROXIMATE location of the Robertson Draw Fire, based on satellite heat data at 3:48 a.m. MDT June 15, 2021.

Evacuations and evacuation warnings are in place for multiple areas near the fire. Firefighters expected a critical fire weather day on Tuesday with Red Flag Warnings in effect due to the hot, dry, and windy weather conditions. According to the Type 3 Incident Management Team, the Gold and Ruby Creek areas were re-evacuated Tuesday morning.

The fire ranges from 7,000′ above sea level up to 9,300′.

Robertson Draw Fire
Robertson Draw Fire, June 14, 2021, InciWeb photo.

About 80 firefighters are working to suppress the fire. Resources include hand crews, engines, helicopters, a rappel crew, and support personnel. Air tankers are assisting firefighters as needed and available. A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered.

satellite photo two wildfires in Montana June 15, 2021
Satellite photo showing the smoke from two wildfires in Montana at 4:11 p.m. MDT June 15, 2021; the Deep Creek and Robertson Draw Fires.

Another fire in Montana, the Deep Creek Fire, is 128 miles northwest of the Robertson Draw Fire, and 40 miles southeast of Helena. It is also burning vigorously, east of Townsend on both sides of US 12. This first photo shows what it looked like on June 13.

Deep Creek Fire
Deep Creek Fire, as seen from MM19 on Hwy. 12 near Townsend, MT. Photo by Mike Vinion June 13, 2021.

To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Deep Creek Fire, including the most current, click HERE.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

4 thoughts on “Robertson Draw Fire in Southern Montana prompts evacuations”

  1. We live near Fox,Mt. Well done on the set up on your part. This reminds me of the
    summer of 88. Will pray to Mother Nature to give us a rain break! About 3” worth.
    Thank you!
    ,

  2. Why don’t they get scoopers going on the Deep Creek fire? Being so close to Canyon Ferry Lake, the scoopers could make short work of it.

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