NewsMontana and Regional News


Emergency crews tackle fire in Helena

Fire reported in South Hills/Nob Hill area
Posted at 10:38 PM, Sep 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-12 00:41:20-04

Update 5:50 p.m. - Helena Fire Department received calls around 3:13 p.m. about a fire on Nob Hill in the South Hills area in Helena.

The fire originally started on the northwest side of Nob Hill, and Helena Fire Assistant Chief Mike Chambers told MTN that after an hour and a half of fighting the fire with gusty winds, conditions have settled down.

Helena Fire was assisted by Lewis and Clark County, Tri-Lakes, Baxendale, East Valley, and West Valley Fire departments, as well as the DNRC, and Forest Service; providing crews with a helicopter and a single-engine airplane.

Initially, firefighters took to the backside of Nob Hill, and using Type 6 fire engines that can carry 350 gallons of water, they were able to go to the previously burnt areas to fight the head of the fire.

Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s deputies went door-to-door on Sonoma Drive and Saddle Drive to have people voluntarily evacuate.

Chambers also said that due to the terrain of the area it is hard to get an accurate reading of the fire, but it's estimated to be a 10 to 20-acre fire.

Chambers says without the quick response from several agencies the Nob Hill fire could have been a larger concern.

“We're lucky to have the resources and the ability to put a lot of resources on things and really highly qualified folks too, which is just we're spoiled here in Helena. This just really showed we had a lot of concern earlier this year throughout the summer. We were still in a bit of a red flag warning, in the area and this just showed the capabilities and the abilities of our local partners and our resources to come together and do a phenomenal job on this fire,” said Chambers.

There have not been any reports of injuries. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Update 4:45 p.m. - Residents that live on Saddle Drive and Sonoma Drive by Nob Hill are under voluntary evacuations.

Crews on the ground say the situation has improved greatly. Personnel will continue to work the fire and ensure the protection of nearby structures.

People are again asked to avoid the area so that the responding units may access the fire.

Update 4:15 p.m. - Ground crews are being assisted by a helicopter that is dumping water on the fire.

Montana Highway Patrol has set up a roadblock on Saddle Drive by Touchmark and are turning all vehicles around.

Individuals that live in the immediate area are reporting to MTN that they have been advised to evacuate.

Emergency crews are responding to a fire in the South Hills/Nob Hill area.

People should avoid this area so that the responding units may access the fire.

Lewis and Clark County / City of Helena 911 Center ask that people do not call 911 about the fire unless their property or life is immediately threatened.

MTN has a reporter en route and we will update this article as more information becomes available.