GREAT FALLS — The danger from a grass fire on Hill 57 appears to have passed, thanks to quick work from firefighters and emergency responders.
The fire broke out just before 4:30 p.m. just north of the Valley View neighborhood. Smoke and haze poured into the sky, limiting visibility in some areas.
By 6 p.m., most of the emergency crews and vehicles had left the scene, and the air began to clear.
Some people reported that several homes were evacuated, but we have not yet received confirmation of the number of people affected from Great Falls Fire Rescue, the Great Falls Police Department, or the Cascade County Sheriff's Office.
There are no reports of any injuries.
At this point, we have not received any verified reports of any homes or structures damaged, and hope to get confirmed details soon.
There is no word yet on the cause or size of the fire.
We will update you when we get more details.
(1st Report) Emergency crews are responding to a fire on or near Hill 57 on the northwest side of Great Falls just north of the Valley View neighborhood, and west of the Skyline/Riverview neighborhood.
The fire was reported at about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Smoke can be seen from miles away, and smoky haze is drifting into areas of Valley View and Riverview.
Firefighters from several agencies have been called to respond.
Drivers are advised to avoid the areas along Northwest Bypass at/near Stuckey Road, and Northwest Bypass at 9th Street, as those are primary access points to the area for emergency crews. Traffic in and around the area is backed up.
Great Falls Fire Rescue posted on Facebook at 5:15 pm: "Fast moving grass fire threatening structures on the west side of town off Hill 57... please avoid the area to allow crews to works safely and evacuations to occur as needed."
At this time, we do not know of any evacuation orders.
There is no word yet on the possible cause of the fire, nor the size.
We have reporters headed to the area and will keep you updated.