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Wildfire continues to burn in Montana

Staff Writer | July 23, 2017
A raging wildfire continued to burn in the northwestern U.S. state of Montana, collectively scorching an estimated area of 200,000 acres (809 square km) as of Saturday evening.
Lodgepole Complex
Fire   Lodgepole Complex
There is no containment on the fire yet and local authority is looking for firefighters enforcement from eastern states as far as Mississippi, the local Billings Gazette newspaper reported.

On Saturday, the blaze, code-named Lodgepole Complex, also forced the authority to close a large part of Highway 200, which is a main road linking Montana and the state of North Dakota.

Some 153 firefighters from the Western Montana Type 2 Incident Command (WMTIC) team arrived Friday night, and there could be 500 professional firefighting personnel by the end of Sunday if all requests are filled, said the report.

Tim Engrav, deputy public information officer of WMTIC, said that firefighting personnel could possibly be coming from states as far east as Mississippi, about 2,500 km away.

"We're getting some resources from the eastern states, because we're getting so stretched out here with big fires, over in the western part of Montana, too," said Engrav, quoted by Billings Gazette as saying.

"Some of the states out east are stepping up and sending folks out too," Engrav said.

Some 300 volunteers and landowners were also battling against the fire, according to the report.

Meanwhile, Anne Miller, the Lodgepole Complex Public Information Officer, also promised enforcement to local residents in a brief meeting Saturday night in Jordan, a town 52 miles (86 km) from the burning land.