Montana Wildfires: Major wildfires threatening towns in Montana, California | World News – News Vibe24

    Montana Wildfires: Major wildfires threatening towns in Montana, California | World News - Times of India
    LAME DEER: Montana fires have threatened rural towns and farms, and California firefighters have returned to their burned-out city, even as the area faces another cycle of dangerous weather.
    Firefighters and residents have been trying to save hundreds of homes as flames spread to the Indian refuge of Northern Cheyenne in southeastern Montana.
    An evacuation order was lifted Friday morning for about 600 people in and around the city of Ashland, just east of the detention center, signaling progress on a fire that had been out of control since Sunday.
    But the fire was still burning near the headquarters of the Lame Deer tribe, where evacuation remained mandatory and a second fire was threatening from the opposite direction.
    The two fires together burned 275 square miles (710 square kilometers) this week, so far saving homes but causing extensive damage to pastures on which ranchers depend on feeding their cows and horses.
    As the blaze raged on rugged hills and narrow ravines, Darlene Small, a member of the tribe, helped her grandson move about 100 head of cattle to a new pasture, to move them twice more as the flames from Richard Springs’s fire fell. An extreme drought covering the West has made things worse by stopping vegetation untouched by fire.
    “They have to have pasture where there is water. If there is no water, there is no good pasture,” Small said. Some ranchers already dependent on surplus grass were particularly hard hit by a fire that burned their regular pasture last year, he said.
    Gusts and low humidity created extremely dangerous conditions as the flames engulfed a brush, short grass and wood, firefighters said.
    The same conditions turned California’s Dixie Fire into a raging flame that last week engulfed much of the small town of Greenville in northern Sierra Nevada. The fire that started a month ago has destroyed about 550 houses.
    Residents were trying to cope with the magnitude of the losses.
    “All I have now is ash or twisted metal. That’s all it is,” said Greenville resident Ken Donell, who escaped with the clothes on his back.
    Donnell said he had broken his heart, but “to God, I’ll smile. Because you know, it ‘s just doing things a little better and a little better right now a lot.”
    Sam Prentice, a USDA Forest Firefighter, battled the blaze in Greenville on Aug. 5 when the town was leveled. He was not optimistic about Greenville’s ability to rebuild.
    “It’s basically starting to become an archeological site – a kind of testimony to the fire season we’re in right now,” Prentice said. “It’s scary”.
    The fire had destroyed more than 800 square miles (well over 2,000 square kilometers) – an area larger than the city of London – and continued to threaten more than a dozen rural and forest communities.
    Despite the progress of the fire, 31% was reduced and fire officials warned that the hot weather would continue and Northern California would see a red flag warning of critical weather conditions from Friday afternoon. The weather would bring the possibility of a dry thunderstorm that could ignite new flames, even as crews continue to try to surround a series of other forest fires that were triggered by lightning last month.
    Hot, dry weather with strong afternoon winds also caused several fires in the state of Washington and similar weather was expected over the weekend, fire officials said.
    Unstable weather is forecast across the drought-stricken western region, with more than 100 major wildfires burning in more than a dozen states.
    In Montana, days of swirling winds spread flames in all directions, setting fire to trees and blowing coals that flew into a dry landscape.
    The Richard Spring Fire was about 3.2 miles east of the Lame Deer, while a smaller fire was about 8 miles (west), said Fire Department spokeswoman Jenny Garcin.
    The most immediate concerns were areas southeast of the city, where houses in a rural area were threatened. Fire trucks were deployed in the area to provide protection if the flames threatened homes, Garcin said.
    With 12-meter flames visible from parts of the Lame Deer overnight Wednesday, firefighters worked urgently to prevent the fire from destroying homes.
    After a short break of weather that brought lower temperatures on Thursday, it is expected to start warming up again, reaching the 90s until Saturday and staying warm until Monday. Officials say the grass and other fuels will dry out and become more sensitive to burning.
    Climate change has made the Western United States warmer and drier for the past 30 years and will continue to make weather more extreme and fires more devastating, scientists say.

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