Posted: Jun 26, 2012 6:46 PM by KBZK Media Center
Updated: Jun 27, 2012 8:06 AM
UPDATE: Madison Road is closed to everything but local traffic at the Buffalo Jump State Park south to Norris. Norris Road is open only to local traffic only due to the Bear Trap 2 Fire.
The Greycliff fishing access site on the Madison River, north of Black's Ford, is also now closed, according to MT FWP.
UPDATE: Officials are issuing evacuation warnings along the Madison River in the area of the Bear Trap 2 Fire.
Winds have pushed the Bear Trap 2 fire across Highway 84 to the north and across the Madison River to the west.
The fire, which is believed to have been caused by fireworks, has reached 2,300 acres. It is 10% contained.
KBZK News Director John Sherer is at the fire this afternoon. He reports that it has flared up both north and south of where the Highway 84 bridge crosses the Madison River.
"The sky is filled with smoke from horizon to horizon," Sherer said.
UPDATE: The Bear Trap 2 Fire has crossed Highway 84.
Winds of 40 miles per hour have pushed the fire across the highway to the north and have grounded aerial resources, according to the Dillon Interagency Dispatch Center. The fire crossed the road about a ½ mile east of the Highway 84 bridge that crosses the Madison River.
MT 84 is now closed from MP 0.0 at Norris to MP 12.0. Because the fire has jumped the roadway, eastbound traffic must remain on US-287 and westbound traffic needs to detour on S-288 Churchill Road at this time, according to the Montana Department of Transportation.
The fire jumped the highway when a 70 mph gust of wind came through, according to the incident commander. They expect winds to remain strong through midnight.
Three residences have been evacuated.
While they can't stop the fire, they are trying to protect houses and work around the edges.
The incident commander adds that they are working with a shortage of manpower and equipment. They have requested more people and more equipment, but they are having trouble getting help because resources are already at other fires, including the Pony Fire.
We will update as we get more information.
The Bear Trap 2 Fire, which is believed to have been caused by fireworks, has grown to 2,300 acres.
The fire is located 20 miles northeast of Ennis along the Madison River. It started at around 11:52 a.m. Monday June 25.
The Burueau of Land Management has temporarily closed all recreation sites along both sides of the lower Madison Special Recreation Management Area. Pilot cars are guiding traffic through Madison Canyon, but motorists are encouraged to detour, using US 287 (eastbound) or S-288 Churchill Road (westbound) to avoid possible delays due to smoky conditions and emergency vehicles in the area, according to the Montana Department of Transportation.
Reports indicate the fire was started by people using fireworks across from Warm Springs boat entry. Madison County officials say there is a person of interest.
On Monday, two helicopters and 25 engines responded to the fire along Norris Road near the Bear Trap Canyon. Between 75 to 80 responders were on the fire, which is burning in very rough terrain.
The fire is burned from Bear Trap Canyon towards Cherry Creek.
Officials said Monday that winds were so strong in the area and the fire is moving so fast that it is dangerous for crews to get out in front of it, so they are fighting it from the sides and from above. High winds are expected again today.