(UPDATE, 4:45 pm) Incident Commander Marc Weniger, who is also an assistant chief for Tri-Lakes Volunteer Fire Department, told MTN that fire crews have got a good handle on suppressing the fire and are working on maintaining containment. Crews will continue to work on mopping up the hot spots.
The fire is now known as the "Black Sandy Fire." The estimated size of the fire is eight acres and residents of about 30 homes were notified to leave. Weniger says they do not believe any structures were damaged at this time.
Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton says Overland Road will remain closed for the time due to a large amount of fire apparatus continuing to work in the area.
Countryside Road from Hauser Dam Road to Timber Trail is open. Timber Trail from Countryside to Overland Road is open.
Fire personnel from Tri-Lakes, East Valley, Eastgate, York, Wolf Creek Fire, West Valley, U.S. Forest Service and the Montana Department of Natural Resources all responded to the Black Sandy Fire.
(1st REPORT, 2:27 pm) A wildland fire has been reported north of Helena near the White Sandy Campground. Around 1:30 p.m. a smoke column could be seen from the Helena valley.
The Lewis & Clark County Sheriff's Office says the fire is in the area of Overland and Audubon roads. Immediate evacuations took place and people are asked to stay away from the area.
"Evacuations are occurring in the north hills of Helena. Currently, all residents east of 3485 Overland Road have been told to evacuate. All of Audubon. Now Timber Trail. Areas north of Overland and Hauser Road and Country Side Road. These roads are now closed to fire apparatus only," said Sheriff Leo Dutton.
Roads blocked at this time are the intersections of Overland Road and Hauser Dam Road, and Overland Road and Timber Trail Drive.
There is no word at this point on the size or the suspected cause of the fire.
Lewis & Clark 911 Dispatch says people should not call 911 to report the smoke or to ask for information regarding the fire.
We will update you as we get more information.
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