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Speed zone implemented on Highway 200 due to Alice Creek Fire - KXLF.com | Continuous News | Butte, Montana

Speed zone implemented on Highway 200 due to Alice Creek Fire

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A temporary speed zone has been implemented along a stretch of Highway 200 due to the Alice Creek Fire.

The Department of Transportation installed a 35 mile per hour zone on the highway from mile marker 92 through mile marker 97.

According to Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton, concerns arose on Saturday afternoon after the fire flared and appeared to move towards the highway.

Sheriff Dutton said the efforts of hand and helicopter crews prevented the fire from crossing the road.

The highway will remain open Saturday night but the fire is burning about half a mile away and firefighters are stationed every quarter of a mile along the road to put out any new spot fires that may flare.

Sheriff Dutton urges anyone driving on Highway 200 and along the east side of Rogers Pass to slow down and use caution as heavy fire equipment will be on the road throughout the night.

"I will not have someone endangering the lives of firefighters putting their lives on the line trying to save people they don't know while people are using reckless abandonment decision making through there," Dutton said. "If we can work cooperatively with traveling public, we can have it safe for everyone."

The 11 residences evacuated on Friday due to the fire remain under the mandatory evacuation order on Saturday.

Highway 200 was also temporarily closed on Friday east of Lincoln at the intersection of Highway 279 east to the intersection with Highway 287.

The Alice Creek Fire has burned 23,427 acres and has 258 total personnel assigned. 


MONTANA FIREWATCH

More than 4,000 firefighters (rural, volunteer, state, military, federal, and more) have been involved in the battle against the fires this season; two of them lost their lives fighting fires in western Montana.

As of Thursday, an estimated 1,005,803 acres have burned in Montana in 2017. The number of acres burned by lightning-caused fires is 914,574; the acres burned by human-caused fires is 91,229.

The total number of wildfires so far this year is 1,687. Of those, 746 were lightning-sparked, and 951 were caused by people/vehicles. 

The figures come from the Northern Rockies Coordination Center, which is part of the National Interagency Fire Center. The number of fires and acreage is slightly less than the figures reported by the agency on Wednesday, due in part to more accurate mapping of fire perimeters.

According to Bullock's office, the cost of fighting the fires has reached about $284 million so far in 2017; an estimated $53 million of that came directly from the state budget, and the rest from federal monies.

MONTANA FIRES: HOW YOU CAN HELP

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