NewsFire Watch


BLM issues citations against the person accused of starting the North Hills Fire

North Hills Fire burned more than 5,000 acres in July and August
Posted at 3:36 PM, Sep 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-20 11:57:37-04

HELENA — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued two citations against a person accused of starting the North Hills Fire several weeks ago.

The North Hills Fire burned more than 5,000 acres in July and August, triggering some evacuations of homes in the area.

The suspect has been cited with one count of causing a fire other than a campfire, and one count of burning timber trees, slash, and brush outside of a campfire.

Each citation has a fine of $500 plus a $30 processing fee, for a total fine of $1,060.

BLM Butte Office Field Manger Scott Haight told MTN News that they are not releasing the name of person at this point.

Haight said the reason for withholding the name is because the case still being investigated.

He added, “There is also a potential backlash component. There are some folks still upset-- and I don’t blame them-- but we want to make sure this individual receives a fair hearing.”

The complaint will be filed through the federal court system and the suspect will have 30 days to respond.

The Lewis & Clark County Sheriff's Office reported that the cause of the North Hills Fire was someone shooting at exploding Tannerite targets.

(JULY 31, 2019) The Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Office lifted some evacuation orders at noon on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday morning, the North Hills Fire has burned approximately 4,600 acres and is 15 percent contained. There have not been any reported injuries.

Residents will be allowed back into their homes in the following areas:

• American Bar Subdivision
• Nelson
• Eldorado Heights Subdivision
• Everything south of North Slope Road and Overland Road
• On or south of Overland Road
• On or south of North Slope Road

According to the Sheriff’s office, only people who live in those areas will be allowed in. The area is still closed to the general public and roadblocks remain in place.

Evacuation orders remain in place in for the following areas:

• Noble Lane
• Snowdrift Road east of Ferry Drive
• Tea Road east of Ferry Drive
• Big Belt Drive
• Westhaven Road
• Countryside
• Black Sandy Loop
• Timber Trail north of Overland Road
• Black Sandy Campground
• White Sandy Campground

Information from the Type II team managing the fire is available on the North Hills Fire Inciweb page or by calling the fire information line at 406-458-3508