Posted: May 14, 2013 7:40 AM by Mark Thorsell
Updated: May 14, 2013 9:54 AM
PHILIPSBURG - Evacuations remain in place as crews continue to battle a 200-acre wildfire burning in Granite County.
Leona Rodreick with the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest tells MTN News that calmer winds and cooler temperatures helped to slow the spread of the blaze overnight.
Meanwhile, more fire crews are expected at the scene near Philipsburg on Tuesday morning, including a pair of hot shot crews and possibly a helicopter.
No word on how many people have been forced from their homes, but evacuations remain in place. The Granite County Sheriff's Office ordered people to evacuate when the blaze first broke out on Monday evening.
Rodreick tells us that they are working to protect around 20 structures near the fire and said the blaze is 0% contained.
Several agencies are working to control the blaze, including the Drummond, Philipsburg and Georgetown Lake fire departments, the U.S. Forest Service, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and an inmate crew from the Montana State Prison.
Rodreick added there's no word on what sparked the blaze. It was first reported 6:20 p.m. on Monday just four miles southwest of Philipsburg.
She's advising folks to be cautions with any open burning and to make sure that homeowners get their property prepared for fire season by trimming trees near power lines and homes and taking other "fire wise" measures.
We'll have more on this developing story as information becomes available.
(photo courtesy Tina Bloom, Jordan White and Melissa Gursky)