Posted: Jun 26, 2012 6:58 AM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
Updated: Jun 27, 2012 9:49 AM
PONY, MT- A high altitude fire in the Tobacco Root Mountains northwest of Pony has now burned some 2,500-acres according to the latest fire mapping of the blaze.
The fire started suddenly Sunday afternoon, burning in timber and brush on a combination of U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and private property. The spread of the flame, as with other fires that started over the weekend, has been driven by high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds.
The winds got so strong Monday afternoon that both air and ground teams were pulled back because of the dangerous conditions.
Authorities issued an evacuation order from the vicinity of Pony down to the Judson Mead Indiana University Research Station at the junction of South Boulder Road and Carmichael Road. Other residents in the area have packed their belongings and are ready to move if needed.
Although the fire has been burning at higher elevations above 6,000 feet, the blaze has the potential to keep spreading. Much of that corner of the Tobacco Roots used to be unpopulated, but has seen an increasing number of homes built in the foothills over the past decade.
The USFS is bringing in a Type 2 management team to step up the attack on both the Pony fire, and the Antelope blaze near Whitehall.
(photo courtesy of inciweb.org)