- By Native News Online Staff
BIG HORN COUNTY, Mont. — A Red Flag warning remains in effect until Sunday evening due to the 78 square mile Sarpy Fire that has burned grass and ponderosa pine on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations in Montana.
The fire is zero percent contained as of Friday night. And, fortunately there have been no human injuries reported as of Friday.
Authorities are concerned the fire may spread on the Labor Day weekend due to the high winds from a dry cold front passing through the area, coupled with triple digit temperatures and single digit humidity.
The fire that went out of control due to high winds on Wednesday has destroyed 27,000 acres on the Crow Indian Reservation and roughly 20,000 acres on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Additionally, the fire has burned on state and federal land north of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.
“We don’t need another spark this weekend!” said Randy Pretty On Top, fuels specialist at the Crow Nation.
A unified command of Crow Agency and Northern Cheyenne Bureau of Indian Affairs, Big Horn County Rural Fire, Northern Cheyenne Tribe agencies, and local ranchers are tackling this incident. “It’s an all-out effort by everybody,” said regional fuels specialist Bob Jones.
The fire is being fought with two SEATs (single-engine air tankers), and one heavy, one medium, and two light helicopters which are busy ferrying retardant and water onto edges of the 78 square mile burned area.
Engines remained at the fire overnight for expected activity into Saturday morning.
Additionally, ten engines and two hand crews were ordered to arrive Friday or Saturday. Seven engines and two tenders, a dozer and grader have arrived to assist dozers and graders on scene from Big Horn County and local ranchers. They should stir and mix that water to cool the fire.
Due to COVID-19 local firefighters have been challenged. More local tribal firefighters will be called in to assist ground operations.
The cause of the wildfire remains under investigation.
More Stories Like ThisTribal Business News Round Up: Sept. 26
A Year Later, Myron Dewey’s Family Waits for Justice
Two National Native American Organizations to Address International Trade for Indian Country at World Trade Organization Forum in Geneva
Native News Weekly (September 25, 2022): D.C. Briefs
Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola Hits the Ground Running: Her First Bill Introduced Clears Committee Two Days Later
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.