Firefighters Extinguish Refuge Fire

August 2008

On August 19, firefighters from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management, officially declared the Lazy Eye Fire, which burned 570 acres on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in north-central Montana, out. The lightning-caused fire ignited August 13 and quickly grew due to gusty winds from a thunderstorm that moved through the area pushing the fire in multiple directions.

During their initial attack of the incident, firefighters made good progress to contain the fire. Small amounts of rain fell with the thunderstorm, helping to slow the fire after the initial spread. Poor access to the fire also complicated the situation causing firefighters have to hike into the area through rough terrain. This is the third time a fire has burned in this location in the last decade.

The Lazy Eye Fire is estimated to have cost around $50,000 to fully extinguish.

Many big game animals such as deer, elk, and antelope call the refuge home. Other species such as beaver, coyotes, and upland birds also inhabit the native prairies, forested coulees, river bottoms and badlands which make up the 1.1 million acres of the refuge.


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