GREAT FALLS — Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter says that at this time, the fire that burned several miles north-northwest of Great Falls is contained and there are no additional evacuations.
In a press release, he said fire is currently being investigated by the Cascade County Sheriff's Office, and an update will be provided when the investigation is complete.
Sheriff Slaughter also thanked "all of the first responders and firefighters who are working hard on this fire."
The cause and size of the fire have not yet been determined.
At this point, there are no reported injuries. Sheriff Slaughter says that several outbuildings were burned, and possibly two homes or trailers.
Corine Lindhorst, who has lived in the area for three decaes, said, "I saw it earlier this afternoon. I was driving home from the store and drove up Vineyard to see the fire. And it looked at that time like it was heading East and not gonna top the hill over there," Lindhorst said.
But when the wind shifted, so did the fate of her home: "When the wind goes, the wind goes. We can't do anything about that." Lindhorst said.
In the 30 years she's lived in this area, she's never seen a fire come this close to her home.
"Last year that big fire came within a half mile of the house, but it veered over to the west and so we were clear," Lindhorst said.
Now all she can do is wait to find out the fate of her trailer; "Don't know. We'll figure that out when we get there," Lindhorst said.
While she waits to find out what happens to her home, she takes comfort in the fact that her husband and dogs are safe.
We will update you when we get more information.
(UPDATE, 4:51 p.m.) The Sheriff's Office says that all homes on Golden Valley Loop are being evacuated.
They also said that Vaughn Fire Command has requested heavy aircraft from the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation to assist with firefighting efforts.
(UPDATE, 3:50 p.m.) The Cascade County Sheriff's Office released the following message:
Due to the fire and the eastbound winds, Deputies are evacuating homes near Vineyard Rd. We just sent a Code Red Alert for a pre-evacuation of Cove Lane. The fire is gaining speed and is headed toward Bootlegger. Please take precautions and do not put yourself at risk to protect your property.
We will update you as we get more information.
(UPDATE, 3:37 p.m.) The fire has burned at least 100 aces at this point.
The fire is between a half-mile and one mile away from some homes on Thunder Road; fire trucks have been arranged to help protect the homes if the fire gets closer.
(1st Report, 3:13 p.m.) Emergency crews are fighting a wildland fire several miles northwest of Great Falls.
The fire was reported at about 1:15 p.m. on Monday.
It is burning a few miles outside of Great Falls, west of Vinyard Road and north of Stuckey Road.
FIrefighters from several agencies have responded, including Vaughn, Black Eagle, and Ulm.
There is no word yet on the cause or size of the fire.
We have a reporter at the scene and will update you as we get more information.