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Montana Burning Up

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Oldtimer

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It was just brought to my attention by another cattletoday poster that I haven't been on here for awhile. I've been a little busy trying to survive- we in northeast Montana (after several great years) are in the worst drought in over a century. No moisture to speak of since March- grass is burned and water holes dried up.. Last week we turned the cows into the wheat and hay fields and fall pasture.. Daily job of checking water.

Here I am moving a couple pairs out of a pasture with no water- the grass just crunches under your feet its so dry:


But we could be worse- 100 miles south of us- on the south side of the Missouri fires are burning everything up.. One fire has now burned close to 300,000 acres and burned out 16 residences.. Miles and miles of fence and hundreds of cattle are lost- along with horse herds and now those ranchers are left with no grass.
Since I lost photobucket- I'm having a terrible time getting pictures to load. But if I can I'll load some..
If not go to my Facebook site Dick Britzman- as it has some photos that show the enormity of this situation..
 

Ol' 243

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Man, that's awful. I feel for ya, we had our worst drought since 1917 here last year. Horrible situation, I hope you get some rain.
 

Workinonit Farm

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Ugghhh!!! A friend of mine (like a daughter, really), is with a crew from Maine, out your way fighting fires. I fell for you and everyone else affected by the drought. We had drought here, a few years back, and I sold off half the herd etc. I have never complained about rain or mud since.

Those fires are terrible! I pray for all those affected.
 

Bright Raven

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Terrible!!!

I just Google searched the Montana fires. I was totally unaware what a disaster is occurring up there. I know how vulnerable Montana is to fire. I lived in Helena from 1987 until 2005. One of the greatest places on earth. This really is disappointing for me.

Looks like the eastern part of the state is getting hit the hardest. This is not good. It only gets drier from here. I hope you farewell.
 

gizmom

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OT

We will be praying you get some rain and that the fire fighters get control of these fires. Also praying for those fighting the fires.

Gizmom
 

uplandnut

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That is terrible, I wish you and all affected the best. I would assume Montana's hay supply is a little on the short side then too?
 

kenny thomas

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We had a crew there for 2 weeks and they came home Saturday. Said they were on 1 fire for 4-5 days then never got on another fire. They chopped wood for the Ranger Station and fished till their time ran out. Very bad management of the crews when they were obviously needed elsewhere. I think they were on BLM land.
Another crew was in southern Utah with the same reports. Said nothing to do where they were.
 
OP
O

Oldtimer

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Yeah I think they have fire crews in here from 37 states this morning.. The mainsteam media seems to be blind to these eastern Montana fires- as I've seen very little on national news..
Hay is at a premium- probably going to be around $200 T.. Some being trucked in from Minnesota. Several of my neighbors are selling cows- one is selling 200 head of pairs (about half his herd) to someone in Nebraska- and another is selling 150 head (about 1/3 his herd) to a ranch in Wyoming..
We are in better shape then most- as we have quite a bit of irrigated hay and so will only have to buy enough to make up for what we didn't get off dryland-- and we had a lot of old grass left from last year.. But probably will wean a month or so early- and sell off about 25 to 33% of the herd- as we know that the BLM and State will be cutting AUM's by at least that much next year on the public leases.. Probably won't keep as many bull calves or heifers to winter and sell as replacements.. Sell the bulls as calves after they are weaned..
 

Cross-7

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I feel for y'all.
Starting in the fall of 2010 till late 2012 we didn't get but about 6" and very little at a time. We had more than a 100 days in 2011 with a 100 degrees and most days it was a 110 or more.
It's a scary hopeless feeling, but it'll rain again.
Just have to wait, survive and pray.
 

Nesikep

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Cross-7":1xocrkmo said:
I feel for y'all.
Starting in the fall of 2010 till late 2012 we didn't get but about 6" and very little at a time. We had more than a 100 days in 2011 with a 100 degrees and most days it was a 110 or more.
It's a scary hopeless feeling, but it'll rain again.
Just have to wait, survive and pray.
That sounds like 2015 was here.. zero rain in the growing season, 100+ from May through september.. No matter how much you watered, grass didn't grow, it just sat there... 95 here today
 

greybeard

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Yeah I think they have fire crews in here from 37 states this morning.. The mainsteam media seems to be blind to these eastern Montana fires- as I've seen very little on national news..
I keep up with the news pretty regularly...I thought.

This thread, is the first I've heard of these fires.
I hate to see it happen anywhere, but I remember the great pics of those same areas in the past.
Heartbreaking.
 
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Oldtimer

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Starting to get a hold on the huge fire- but have several more burning thruout the state- and growing.. And they are predicting thunderstorms for tomorrow- which so far this summer has only brought us lightning ..

Lodgepole Complex fires now at 62% contained, size of blazes holding steady
Posted: Jul 26, 2017 6:08 PM MDT
Updated: Jul 26, 2017 6:20 PM MDT
By Dustin Klemann - MTN News

SAND SPRINGS -
Firefighters earned a large jump in containment of the Lodgepole Complex fires in Garfield and Petroleum Counties on Wednesday.
Fire officials confirm the fires are now 62 percent with 270,200 acres burned. The distance around the fire perimeter is 196 miles.
The number of personnel was decreased to 598.
"Work continues to patrol and mop up containment lines and hold and secure any active fire lines especially during the expected gusty winds over the next two days," stated fire officials on the incident website. "Operations personnel also continue to cooperate with local property owners on containment and rehab of fire line actions."
A designated number of fire engines have been assigned to respond for Initial Attack to any new fire starts within the vicinity of the fire in support of or at the request of the local fire department/agency.
Thursday poses another threat to fire containment as weather conditions include gusty winds and low humidity levels with a chance of thunderstorms.
Critical fire weather conditions are possible again on Friday as gusty winds combine with low humidity levels along with the potential for thunderstorms. Hot and dry conditions will continue through the weekend into early next week.
http://www.ktvq.com/story/35980763/lodg ... ing-steady
 

NonTypicalCPA

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Wow, didn't even know this and I'm on the news sites regularly. If they would only do their jobs instead of trying to oust Trump it would be much better.
 

Bright Raven

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NonTypicalCPA":8725pxic said:
Wow, didn't even know this and I'm on the news sites regularly. If they would only do their jobs instead of trying to oust Trump it would be much better.

You got to give Trump just a little bit of credit. He craps in his own nest more than most. I hope he is a fast learner.
 

elkwc

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NonTypicalCPA":2guchg10 said:
Wow, didn't even know this and I'm on the news sites regularly. If they would only do their jobs instead of trying to oust Trump it would be much better.
+1 But then that is their agenda 24-7
 

gizmom

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The boss and I have been in the Missoula area since the 27th, It is dry and hot. They have three different fires burning here and the ranger we spoke to said none were as bad as they had in other parts of the state. The smoke is just hanging over the entire area. We drove back roads today and the cattle are seeking any shade they can find. I don't imagine the cattle in this part of the world are accustomed to this kind of heat, or at least I don't think they are. The pastureland is just burnt up, I sure hope they get a break in the heat and get some rain soon.

Gizmom
 

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