The 125,000-acre fire burning in Eastern Montana prompted the partial closure of Highway 200 on Saturday afternoon due to the fire crossing the roadway, according to the Garfield County Disaster and Emergency Services. 

The closure is in effect from Jordan to Winnett, according to Al Nash, a spokesperson with the Bureau of Land Management. 

Initially the closure was announced for Highway 200 between Mosby and Sand Springs. The closure was later expanded in order to allow easier, safer detours of travelers, Nash said. 

"They just recognized it wasn't the best decision to let people get as far as those two communities and have them turn around," Nash said. 

Speaking at about 4:30 p.m., Nash said it was his understanding the highway from Sand Springs to Mosby remained an area of concern "due to increased fire activity."

In a Facebook post to the Garfield County DES page at about 3 p.m. on Saturday, the initial closure was announced "due to fire crossing" the highway "with erratic behavior." 

People are asked not to enter the area "unless directly related to fire suppression and communicating with officers on the perimeter." 

Friday evening and Saturday morning the fire resulted in the temporary closure of Highway 200, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group website InciWeb. Drivers were urged to continue slowly through the area because of the fire and smoke conditions. 


Night Reporter

General assignment reporter for The Billings Gazette.