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Firefighters ask residents not to burn this weekend after Belgrade wildfire

By Eric Turcio, Reporter, eturcio@ktvm.com
Published On: Apr 26 2013 10:29:44 PM MDT
Updated On: Apr 26 2013 10:34:23 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

According to fire officials, wind is definitely a big concern as we head into the weekend

Most of the fire is out on West Dry Creek Road, but it just takes a gust of wind to fan the flames. Walking along the road we could hear the crackling of the fire and smell the smoke as it began billowing into the air.

Central Valley Fire Department told NBC Montana it's not uncommon this time of the year for wildfires to break out, especially on warm days like Friday.

Firefighters fought long and hard all afternoon on Friday, putting out the flames along West Dry Creek Road.

"Now it's grown to about 60 to 80 acres, but it's pretty wild," said Keith Johnson of the Bozeman Fire Department.

Fire officials told us because Friday was warm and windy, it made it difficult to stop the fire from spreading.

Other local fire departments were called in to help battle the blaze, including Bozeman and Amsterdam.

The fire left behind blackened grass and burned tree limbs, turning them to ash. Firefighters had to truck in water since no hydrants were easily accessible.

"Obviously, out here you don't have hydrants or anything so we're just shuttling back and forth to get water. We've got a pump in the the creek here and then also another fill site further to the south," said Johnson.    

Fortunately, no homes were threatened. People who live in the area told NBC Montana they would rather see brush fires this time of year, rather than in the hotter, drier summer season.

Central Valley firefighters told us they would be staying at the site lose to 10 p.m. Firefighters wanted to make sure the high winds didn't carry any embers, sparking more fires.

Officials ask residents not do to any open burning this weekend as the forecast calls for high winds and temperatures will be warmer than usual.