Firefighters injured by Garfield County wildfire
(MILES CITY, Mont.) – Federal firefighters were injured when a sudden wind shift blew the wildfire back over their position as they were constructing a defensive fire line on the perimeter of the Devils Creek Fire in Garfield County, July 22.
The five injured firefighters were members of federal crews called in to assist Bureau of Land Management, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Garfield County and local resources already on scene.
The firefighters were evacuated and are currently undergoing further medical evaluation to determine the extent of their injuries.
Numerous wind shifts and rapid rates of spread resulted in erratic fire behavior as thunderstorms and associated cells were passing over the area when the incident occurred.
The lightning-caused wildfire is burning in rough, steep terrain and is located near the Pine Grove School, about 36 miles northwest of Jordan, and east of the Devils Creek Road which accesses the south shore of Fort Peck Reservoir.
Personnel on site continue to fight the blaze, which as of the most recent mapping, has burned roughly 375 acres of BLM and private land.
Additional information and updates on the incident will be made available as safety investigations determine the factual details.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.