North-Central Montana Wildfire Grows to 13 Square Miles

Fire forces evacuations near Fort Belknap Indian Reservation

By Justin Franz

LANDUSKY — A wildfire burning south of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in north-central Montana has grown to 13 square miles (33 square kilometers).

The July fire, burning in grass and timber near the small towns of Zortman and Landusky, had been mapped at 2.5 square miles (6.5 square kilometers) before the wind shifted Wednesday, moving the threat from Zortman to Landusky.

The Phillips County sheriff’s office placed about 40 residents of Landusky under a voluntary evacuation order Thursday, but some people stayed. The Bureau of Land Management said one outbuilding in Landusky has burned.

The BLM says more personnel and equipment are being brought in Friday as firefighters work to protect buildings and strengthen fire lines. Hot, dry weather is expected to continue.

The fire started on Monday and is 10 percent contained.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.