GREAT FALLS — The Pine Grove Fire in southern Blaine County and into Phillips County has burned an estimated 17,325 acres as of Tuesday evening, and is about 7% contained. The fire was discovered on Monday, August 16, and is being managed as a Type 3 Incident with 87 personnel on site.
Just after 9 a.m. on Tuesday, the Phillips County Sheriff's Office said that incident command for the Pine Grove Fire had issued a mandatory evacuation notice for Zortman-area residents.
The American Red Cross has opened an emergency shelter in Hays for evacuees. It is at the Hays-Lodgepole High School, 163 Dora Helgelson Road.
Fort Belknap Council says that there are three road closures as of Tuesday evening: Monument Peak Road; CarryWater Road; and Mission Canyon Road.
The Bureau of Land Management has temporarily closed the Camp Creek Campground, located about one mile north of Zortman; and the Montana Gulch Campground, located about 1/2 mile west of Landusky. The campgrounds will remain closed until fire management officials determine it is safe to reopen the area to the public.
At this point, there are no reports of any serious injuries, and no word yet on the suspected cause of the fire.