‘Hotshot’ Crews Battle Fire Near Deer Lodge

By Beacon Staff

DEER LODGE – Three Montana “hotshot” crews are fighting a wildfire 11 miles southwest of Deer Lodge.

The 20-member hotshot crews are highly trained firefighters given the most difficult assignments.

An incident management team commanded by Jess Secrest took over management of the 300-acre Bielenburg fire early Tuesday.

It’s burning on the Pintler Ranger District of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

Incident spokesman Gary Hoshide (hoh-SHEE’-day) says fire managers want to keep the fire north of Racetrack Creek and keep it from moving south and east onto private lands.

The fire is burning in mountain pine beetle-killed lodgepole pine. The steep, rocky terrain is unsuitable for using heavy equipment; and Hoshide says numerous snags, or trees at risk of falling, create a safety hazard.

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