(UPDATE, 6:30 pm) The Broadwater Reporter has posted video that shows a firefighting helicopter after it apparently crashed near the Deep Creek Fire.
In the video, flames and thick black smoke can be seen pouring from metal wreckage by the road. The Broadwater Reporter says officials at the scene told them that all people aboard the helicopter evacuated safely.
MTN has not been allowed past the intersection of Highway 12 and Highway 284. We have contacted several agencies, but none have yet confirmed the crash or released any details.
(1st REPORT, 5:34 pm) The Deep Creek Fire has crossed Highway 12 due to strong winds on Tuesday and is burning to the north; Highway 12 is closed east of Townsend.
The U.S. Forest Service reports air attack is on-scene, and it is a rapidly evolving situation due to the wind and hot temperature. A Type 1 team has been ordered.
Law enforcement has Highway 12 closed to most eastbound traffic at the intersection with Highway 284, the road to Canyon Ferry. Residents are only being allowed in as far as Ross Gulch.
Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest officials said that residents in the Thomason to the Grassy Mountain Subdivision are asked to follow the Meagher County Sheriff Office's evacuation instructions and head to the high school in White Sulphur Springs. The Meagher County Sheriff Office began evacuating the Springdale Colony around 3:00 p.m.
The Broadwater County Sheriff's Office will also be evacuating people in the area. Any resident in the area that feels that their home may be threatened by the fire should evacuate immediately.
The Montana Red Cross has opened an evacuation center for residents displaced by the fire; it is located at the White Sulphur Springs Senior Citizens Center, 101 1st Avenue SE. Residents who check in there will provided services including a safe place to stay, meals, and access to other community resources. All Red Cross services are free. Families who need services should call the Montana Red Cross at 800-272-6668
We will update you as we get more information.
Click here for more information at the Inciweb site.