Posted: May 14, 2013 4:12 PM by Shannon Davis
Updated: May 14, 2013 4:42 PM
PHILIPSBURG - Homes were lost in the Rumsey Gulch Fire near Philipsburg Monday night. It slowed overnight, but firefighters expect the blaze to get worse before they get a handle on it.
Officials have confirmed five homes and numerous outbuildings have been lost to the Rumsey Gulch Fire.
"Our objectives today are to concentrate on structure protection. Secondarily, we will work on putting a line around the fire perimeter," information officer Peri Suenram said.
Structures in the area remain at risk.
"It was completely engulfed, I would say within a minute," said Jodi Linn who was evacuated from her home.
Linn watched her mother's house burn. Her mother's house sits right next door to her own home.
"She was walking out the front and the car was so hot she couldn't get in it," Linn recalls.
Linn's husband helped her mother into the hot vehicle and away from the blaze.
"She was carrying her lapdog and her heavy purse. That's all she has from her house is her lapdog and her purse," Linn said.
The family drove their vehicles to a clearing and stayed with friends for the night. Their house survived the blaze.
"In the years past, we have taken out trees around our home and cleared out brush," Linn said.
The fire has reached 350 acres. It traveled east into Summers Gulch.
The cause may have been a tree falling on a power line, but it remains under investigation.
"We just ask that people use a lot of caution when dealing with fires and using the national forest," Suenram said.
This is an aggressive fire for early May. County, state and federal agencies are working to put out the blaze.
The community is working to put a fund together for those affected by the Rumsey Gulch Fire.
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