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Arson is suspected in a series of seven small wildfires that began Saturday night in Golden Valley County, Golden Valley County Sheriff Floyd Fisher said Wednesday.

All but one of the fires is out, Fisher said. The last one, a 16-acre fire in a timber and rocky area about 10 miles south of Ryegate, is about 99 percent out, Fisher said. “We’re almost there,” he added.

One of the fires burned 100 tons of round hay bales that had been stacked in a field in Golden Valley County. The fire started along the road and spread to the hay, Fisher said.

“Everything is under investigation,” said Fisher, who has asked for help from the state fire marshal’s office. “We’re working the fires and trying to come up with evidence on each one as to how they started. We’ve been receiving information from a lot of people,” he said.

The sheriff said he suspects arson in the fires because there was no lightning and because the fires “were all kind of in a line."

"It’s definitely arson or human-caused,” he said.

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The first fire was reported at about 9 p.m. Saturday. As fire engines were responding from different directions in the county, they started finding six other fires, Fisher said. The fires started about seven miles south of Ryegate and continued in a southeasterly direction toward Broadview, he said.

The biggest fire was 28 acres. All of the fires were on private land. No structures were burned, Fisher said.

Firefighters from the Ryegate, Lavina, Broadview and Golden Valley outlying area responded.

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Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.