IN THE WIND

Wind-driven Rosebud Fire forces evacuations in Fishtail and burns more than 1,000 acres
Thursday, November 18, 2021
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The glow from the Rosebud Fire could be seen in the Nye area. Facebook photo by Cynthia Colbert

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This photo was taken from the split of the West Rosebud and Fiddler Creek Road. Facebook photo by Barb Weeks.

A wind-driven fire in the Fishtail area that started Monday night forced evacuations of more than 30 homes and burned approximately 1,044 acres by Wednesday afternoon.

The Rosebud Fire was reported by multiple 911 callers at 10:23 p.m. Monday in the West Rosebud area. As of Wednesday afternoon, there was no word on a cause.

By Tuesday morning, multiple fire agencies were on scene, with initial estimates of between 3,000 to 5,000 acres burned. That number would later be scaled back.

The Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office launched and conducted evacuations from the intersection of Fiddler Creek Road and West Rosebud Road to South Fiddler Creek Road, including Ingersoll to Roscoe, according to the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office and dispatch records. Those evacuations remained in effect until late Wednesday morning, according to a press release from Stillwater County Public Information Officer Tammie Mullikin.

Due to constant wind, containment remained at 0 percent until Wednesday afternoon.

Cooler weather Tuesday night and a bit of moisture kept the blaze from growing.

Also helping was the arrival of air support in the form of two Type 2 helicopters and one helitack crew. Approximately 16 fire engines from local and state agencies and two county dozers were on scene Wednesday and able to reach 15 percent contained and provide a new estimate of 1,044 acres involved.

Responding agencies included Absarokee fire, Columbus Fire Rescue, Carbon County, the Montana Department of Nature and Conservation Services (DNRC), the U.S. Forest Service, Stillwater County Disaster Emergency Services (DES) and county road crews. Park City and Rapelje fire crews provided structure support and water tenders.

A High Wind Warning had been in effect Monday and Tuesday, calling for west winds at 30 to 40 mph and gusts as high of 60 mph. According to the National Weather Service, Nye’s strongest gust during that time was 61 mph.