Evacuations started Monday evening as the Rumsey Gulch Fire grew to 200 acres in a forested area about 4 miles southeast of Philipsburg.
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest spokeswoman Leona Rodreick said at 9:30 p.m. Monday that “multiple structures” were also threatened, but details on the number of people and buildings affected were unavailable.
She said firefighters from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the Forest Service and county volunteer departments were fighting the blaze, which was reported about 6:20 p.m. There was no containment by 9:30 p.m.
Cause of the blaze is unknown, but Rodrieck added that the area saw “horrific winds” on Monday afternoon.
Wise River fire contained
In another area wildfire, near Wise River, the Pioneer Fire reached 45 acres and was reported 75 percent contained by Monday evening, Rodreick said.
The fire is about 5 miles west of Wise River along Highway 43, according to Rodreick.
A helicopter, hand crew and two Forest Service engines were on scene battling the fire. Volunteer firefighters from Wise River, Wisdom and Dillon also were assisting.
The helicopter was later released to fight the Rumsey Gulch fire.
Rodreick reported that the fire had jumped across the highway. Travelers were advised to take an alternate route.
The cause of the fire that fire remained unknown as of Monday evening.
Rodreick warned homeowners to take a close look at their property to make sure their homes are defensible against wildfire.
“Whatever they do they must be careful with fire,” she said.
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