NM firefighters among 5 injured in Montana blaze

JORDAN, Montana — Five federal firefighters remained hospitalized Sunday in stable condition after sustaining burn injuries when swirling winds blew a lightning-caused wildfire back on them in eastern Montana on Thursday.

The five were building a defensive line at the Devil’s Creek Fire in Garfield County when the weather shifted, said Bureau of Land Management spokesman Mark Jacobsen.

Two USDA Forest Service firefighters who are engine crew members based at the Quemado Ranger District in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest were in stable condition and recovering at an undisclosed location, said Forest Service spokeswoman Punky Moore.

Three U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service crew members also were in stable condition and recovering at an undisclosed burn center, said Forest Service spokeswoman Kari Cobb. The three USFS employees are based at the Eastern North Dakota Wetland Management District Complex, Cobb said.

Neither Cobb nor Moore released any addition details.

Fire crews hoped to keep the wildfire, which had grown to 3,500 acres Sunday, from approaching the nearby Fort Peck Reservoir on the Missouri River, Jacobsen said.

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