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Wildfire in Musselshell County forces evacuations

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Posted at 8:42 AM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 20:33:19-04

Update 6:30 p.m. Monday

Officials say going forward the Peterson fire which has burned just over 4,000 acres and is zero percent contained is their biggest concern.

"The biggest challenge on the Peterson fire is the terrain itself. There are areas that are just too rocky to put equipment or to get any sort of effective hand lines and those are the types of areas where that fire can kind of sneak out past and continue growing," says Sara Rouse, the public information officer for Northern Rockies Incident Management Team seven.

The Western Road and Musselshell Trail Road fires are both at forty three percent containment and according to Rouse are on a "patrol and monitor status."

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Update 1:55 p.m. Monday

Some evacuations ordered near the Peterson Fire have been lifted, according to the Musselshell County DES.

Evacuations have been lifted for Harvey Road, Melstone-Custer Road and Alkali Creek Road, the agency posted on Facebook. Residents are allowed to return home, just be prepared for potential changing conditions over the next several days, which may result in evacuations.

Evacuation remains in effect for Queen’s Point Road.

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ROUNDUP - Fire officials on Sunday evening ordered evacuations and issued pre-evacuation orders for some areas affected by growing wildfires.

The MY Complex wildfire forced evacuations to be ordered for anyone east of Queens Point Road, south of Harvey Road, west of Melstone-Custer Road, and north of Alkali Creek. Pre-evacuation notices were issued for residents along the river corridor between Highway 12 and Harvey Road.

The MY Complex is made up of three separate wildfires. The largest is the Musselshell Trail Road Fire northwest of Custer. The wildfires are estimated to be burning on 24,007 acres and were started Friday, July 8 by lightning strikes.

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MY Complex

The MY Complex consists of three wildland fires:

  • Western Road Fire, located approximately 7 miles southeast of Roundup, Montana.
  • Peterson Fire, located approximately 12 miles south of Melstone, Montana.
  • Musselshell Trail Fire, located approximately 22 miles southeast of Musselshell, Montana and 15 miles northwest of Custer, Montana.

Fire officials said Monday morning the Peterson Fire is expected to move south due to extreme drought conditions and predicted hot and dry weather.

Crews on the Musselshell Trail Fire and Western Road Fire were expected Monday to continue patrols and fire-line mop-up operations.

RELATED: Wildland Fire Terminology 101