Over 500 people attended a community meeting at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds about the 3,500 acre Roaring Lion forest fire. Many of them had been hastily evacuated as the forest fire grew hundreds of acres in less than an hour after it started Sunday afternoon.

Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman and Undersheriff Steve Holton said that at least 14 homes were destroyed by flames. Homeowners are being notified.

A Northern Region Type 1 Incident Management team under the direction of Greg Poncin took over management of the fire Monday evening. The fire did not grow much Monday, but low-lying smoke prevented air attacks. Poncin warned residents that Tuesday's weather forecast could spell trouble with strong winds and low humidity.

More engines, helicopters, air tankers and personnel are coming to the fireline with the Roaring Lion Fire the highest priority in the state, according to Hoffman.

Undersheriff Holton said homeowners were being allowed back into their homes Monday night and early Tuesday morning to retrieve possessions while the conditions are more calm. No one else is allowed in the closed area. Law enforcement will provide strict security.

The Incident Command Center is now at Hamilton High School, according to Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest. A Firewise information trailer will be open along Highway 93 just north of the Skalkaho turnoff.

Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)