Five federal firefighters remain hospitalized for burn injuries after winds caused a lightning-induced wildfire to blow in their direction, The Associated Press reported.
The firefighters, who had been called to assist the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Garfield County and other local authorities, were trying to create a defensive fire line around the Devil's Creek Fire on Thursday, according to a statement from BLM.
On Sunday, the USDA Forest Service’s Southwest region confirmed that two of its agency’s crew members received burn injuries.
“On July 22, two USFS engine crew members from the Quemado RD, Gila NF, sustained burn injuries on the Devils Creek Fire in MT. The firefighters are in stable condition and recovering. Thank you for thinking about our fire personnel working hard on fires across the country,” the agency tweeted.
The other three firefighters were crew members with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Kari Cobb told The Hill that they were recovering from their injuries at a burn center and were in stable condition.
Cobb told the The Hill that the crew members were based at the Eastern North Dakota Wetland Management District Complex and were part of a wildland fire engine crew.
The AP reported that fire had grown to 3,500 acres. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Mark Jacobsen told the AP they hoped they could prevent the fire from approaching Fort Peck Reservoir.
Updated 1:59 p.m.