Posted: Aug 20, 2012 7:35 PM by MTN News
Updated: Aug 20, 2012 7:36 PM
BILLINGS - The Old Pine Fire southeast of Billings has already burned one house and garage and continues to threaten other structures at this hour.
Fire officials say fire, which grew from about 50 to 800 acres in a few hours today, is burning about six miles southeast of Billings on Highway 87 East on the Crow Reservation.
Highway 87 East is closed about four miles south of Lockwood. Law enforcement is redirecting traffic to allow fire crews and equipment to make their way into the fire lines.
Lockwood Fire Chief Bill Rash said firefighters arrived around 3 p.m. Rash says nearly all fire departments in Yellowstone County are assisting with the fire, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Two helicopters and two air-tankers are on scene dropping fire retardant onto the flames.
Rash says the east side of the fire has been contained, but crews are still working to get the west end of the fire under control.
Windy conditions and dry grass is allowing the fire to spread quickly.
Investigators are also on scene trying to determine what sparked the fire.