SHERIDAN — A fire in eastern Sheridan County, named the Waddle Creek Fire, burned through the night with no containment, according to radio chatter Tuesday morning.
The fire mostly held in place from its location Monday night due to containment tactics but new activity sparked on the south and east flanks of the fire. Crews began to reposition resources to those areas around 8 a.m.
A high tension power line is under threat from fire burning underneath on the southern end. The fire was estimated at 7,000 acres before a state helicopter was expected to arrive and provide a more accurate assessment, Sheridan County Fire Warden Chris Thomas said.
The county is labeled with a red flag warning with anticipated wind coming through the area today, he said. The situation is still rapidly evolving — Thomas said he hopes last night’s efforts will hold through today.
He reminded the public to exercise extreme caution with trailer chains and any potential spark sources as fire restrictions remain in place and resources are deployed in the eastern part of the county. The cause of the Waddle Creek Fire is undetermined at this time.
About 40 crew members from Clearmont Fire District; Goose Valley Fire Department; Bureau of Land Management; Sheridan County; Bighorn County, Montana; Padlock Ranch and NX Bar Ranch are working the scene. Thomas said the bounds of the fire match up closely to the Deer Creek Fire of 2017.
Chris Thomas with CFD said ranchers responded to the fire first and the agency arrived around 4 p.m. Monday. Crews dropped water over the area from the air just before dark.
No injuries to civilians or firefighters have been reported. One rancher lost more than 6,000 acres and at least three other ranches have lost acreage. Thomas said no livestock have been threatened at this point.