Wildfires On Blackfeet Res. Force Evacuations

Published January 5, 2012 5:00PM (EST)

BROWNING, Mont. (AP) — Blackfeet tribe officials say firefighters are starting to get a handle on two wind-fueled fires that have burned buildings and forced evacuations on the northwestern Montana reservation.

Tribal spokesman Wayne Smith says the fires started Wednesday evening and quickly spread to 16,000 acres overnight. That's less than a previous estimate of 45,000 acres.

Smith says rain helped at least 80 people from the tribe, neighboring counties and federal agencies helped in beating back the fires overnight.

He says that one of the fires is 80 percent contained and the other is 75 percent contained.

Smith says between 10 and 15 structures have been damaged and 300 people were evacuated Wednesday night. He says are no longer any evacuation orders.

By Salon Staff

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