The Meagher County Sheriff's Office issued new evacuation orders Thursday for the Woods Creek Fire (Inciweb), which is burning about 16 miles northeast of Townsend, between Canyon Ferry Lake and White Sulphur Springs in the Big Belt Mountains.
Evacuations were ordered for people between Gypsy Creek and Big Birch Creek on the fire's eastern edge. Birch Creek Road is now closed at mile marker seven.
The Woods Creek Fire has burned more than 20,000 acres as of Thursday afternoon.
A mandatory evacuation order issued by the Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office covering everything east of Highway 284 between Gravely Lane on the north and Dry Gulch Road on the south remains in place.
Firefighters continue constructing and securing firelines, installing hose lays in the Duck Creek and Baldy Creek areas, and tying in lines near private property. Sprinklers are in place at Confederate Gulch, where additional hose lays and structure prep have been the focus. On the southeastern end of the fire, hose lays are assisting mop up efforts. Heat remains near the Thompson Guard Station and mine in that area.
Firefighters are engaging the fire directly where it is safe to do so. Fire will likely be active along the eastern edge in the Atlantic Creek, Boulder Creek, Duck Creek and Gipsy Creek areas today. Confederate Gulch and Duck Creek remain focus areas for structure protection and line construction. Night crews will monitor and control fire spread, and provide structure protection, in coordination with the local fire departments.