Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Mark Hebert

'July Fire' near Zortman reaches 10,542 acres, 50% containment


Mark Hebert

Smoke from the July Fire billows into the sky near Zortman last week. Photo Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management.

Derek Oshio and his family nearly always spend the Independence Day holiday at the Lori Nagel place in Zortman, and this July 3rd, that is where the brood found themselves when a fire erupted at the southwest corner of town.

Oshio said he and members of the family were playing in a creek near Alder Gulch when they smelled smoke and moments later the sky grew dark.

"As soon as the sun was blocked out, I got my family the hell out of the creek," Oshio said.

Oshio got his family back to Zortman about the same time Michael Nagel returned to town from a trip to purchase fireworks in Fort Belk-n...

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