BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Rapidly-expanding wildfires across a broad swath of southern Montana have caused injuries and burned more homes, buildings and vehicles, authorities said Thursday, as firefighters struggled to contain the flames amid hazardous conditions.
The precise toll of the latest spate of fires to hit the state remained uncertain. But there were well over 150 homes still threatened by blazes that in some cases burned unchecked.
High temperatures and erratic winds were forecast to make the fight more difficult. And with at least nine large fires burning in Montana, officials said there was increasing competition for adequate resources.
South of Livingston, the Pine Creek fire that ignited Wednesday resulted in minor injuries to firefighters and members of the public, the Park County sheriff’s office said.
An evacuation was in place for the small town of Pine Creek and surrounding areas. The fire burned multiple houses and buildings there but spared the main building of the well-known Pine Creek Lodge and Cafe, a church and the one-room Pine Creek School, said Karen Tuscano with the Forest Service.
The size of the fire was reported Wednesday night at about 4 square miles, just hours after it started on private land along the Yellowstone River due to an undetermined cause. After burning through Pine Creek it moved up into the Gallatin National Forest and has at least doubled in size.
She said multiple houses and buildings were threatened but a precise number was not available.
“We do have engines that will be working the burned area to hold on to what we have,” Tuscano said. “I don’t know what we’re going to have for resources quite yet … Everybody’s competing for resources around here. We hope for everything but take what we can get.”
A resident who failed to heed an evacuation on a fire south of Butte was taken away by ambulance after suffering second degree burns to his hands and arms, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Mariah Leuschen. That blaze, the 19 Mile Fire, has burned more than 4 square miles and at least nine structures including two houses.
An estimated 100 houses were threatened by the fire. Residents were being allowed back in with escorts Thursday to check on the condition of their property.
To the east, evacuations remained in effect for an estimated 20 residences and summer houses burning on the northeast front of the Beartooth Mountains near the town of Roscoe. The Rosebud Fire was reported at 20 percent contained Thursday morning.
South of Bozeman, officials said six houses and 20 commercial buildings and outbuildings were threatened by the Millie Fire, which exploded from less than 1 square mile to more than 15 square miles from Wednesday to Thursday. The fire was uncontained Thursday.
Evacuations were lifted for the 63-square-mile Delphia Fire burning south of Musselshell near Roundup. Crews reported the fire was 90 percent contained Thursday and personnel were being shipped off to other fires, said Delphia Fire spokesman Wayne Wynick.
“Most of them are not going very far,” he added.
More Related Stories
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- 2 more arrested in London attacks
- Glenn Beck: CNN interview with atheist tornado survivor was a setup!
- Incoming BBC news director on journalism gender gap: "We can do better"
- Illegal construction, shoddy materials at fault in Bangladesh factory disaster
- Ahead of Obama's speech, U.S. acknowledges four American drone killings
- Must-see morning clip: Bill O'Reilly visits "The Daily Show"
- Lawsuit alleges anti-gay hiring practices at ExxonMobil
- Boy Scouts poised to vote, still greatly divided on gay youth
- House supporters of KXL received $56m from fossil fuel industry
- 80-year-old becomes oldest to climb Mount Everest
- Before FBI shooting man implicated self, Tsarnaev in triple murder
- Paul McCartney backs Pussy Riot
- UK emergency committee convenes after attack
- Brave scout leader tried to reason with London attackers
- If Alex Pareene were a cable news executive...
- El Salvador court delays ruling on abortion case while woman's life hangs in the balance
- UK officials: Radical Islam behind London attack
- Pa. governor "can't find" any Latinos to work in his administration
- London machete attack could be linked to terrorism
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11