Montana Forest Fires Continue to Grow (Update)
The largest forest fire in Montana is the 2,500 acre Pony Fire, northwest of Pony, MT.
Strong winds caused officials to pull firefighters off the lines yesterday afternoon, but more people have arrived at the fire and a Type 2 Incident Command team out of Idaho has taken over operations of the Pony Fire and the Antelope Lane Fire, about 10 miles north of Whitehall.
The Pony Fire has caused an evacuation order from Mammoth-South Boulder to the Judson Mead Indiana University Geology Field Station. The fire is burning in timber and sage on private land, Bureau of Land Management property and the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest.
The Antelope Lane Fire is still estimated at about 680 acres.
Meanwhile, on the outskirts of Helena, the 700-acre Corral Fire burned at least three homes last night when the wind shifted. Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said 200 homes have been evacuated ahead of the fast-moving fire that started about 4pm Monday afternoon.
The Bear Trap 2 fire has grown from 200 acres to an estimated 2,300 acres It started Monday morning west of Cherry Creek in Madision County. The forest fire is about 20 miles northeast of Norris. Along the Madison River, the Bureau of Land Management has closed public access in Bear Trap Canyon and at two fishing sites – the Black Ford and Damselfly. An incident management team is coming to that fire Tuesday evening.
With the recent warm weather, Bitterroot National Forest officials are reminding visitors to be very careful with any campfires in Ravalli County.