While the Lolo Creek Complex fire has garnered the most attention over the past week, the Rock Creek fire near Red Lodge is Montana's second highest priority.

"It started on Tuesday [August 20] at about 2:30 in the afternoon," said incident management team spokesman Jeff Gildehaus. "It's of unknown origin, but it's under investigation. It did start right off of Highway 212, which is the Beartooth Pass Highway about five miles south of Red Lodge. It progressed rapidly from about five to 10 acres to about 500 acres by that evening."

The fire has since grown to over 900 acres. Gilehaus said it has been racing up steep bowls away from Highway 212.

"212 was closed for about two days, but it reopened on Thursday," Gildehaus said. "Right now it's got a restricted speed limit of 35 mph through the fire zone and no stopping or parking in that area."

The fire is considered to be 10 percent contained and is being battled by about 120 personnel.


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