Montana Leads Nation in Fires at 323 Square Miles

July 5, 2012

Montana now has more large wildfires burning than any other state.

The National Interagency Fire Center says the state has 10 large fires burning compared to Colorado’s seven and eight in Utah. The Billings Gazette reports that about 208,000 acres, or 323 square miles, were burning in Montana compared to about 152,000 in Colorado.

But Colorado’s fires have been far more destructive, with 722 structures burned compared to 275 in Montana.

On Sunday, the Ash Creek fire in southeastern Montana grew to 170,000 acres, or 265 square miles. Triple-digit temperatures and strong winds pushed the fire east, prompting authorities to issue evacuation notices.

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