GREAT FALLS-The East Fork Fire in Hill County and the Rocky Boy’s reservation has burned an estimated 15,000 acres as of 3 p.m. on Thursday, nearly doubling in size Thursday morning’s estimate of 8,000 acres.

Many people have asked how they can help the firefighting efforts.

  • The Bear Paw Volunteer Fire Department has created a donation button on its Facebook page and says: “For those that wish to donate money, please click the blue “Donate” button on this page through PayPal. Donations can also be taken to Independence Bank, or to Ezzies for fuel. BPVFD thanks you for your generosity in this time of need.”
  • The Blaine County Health Department posted the following information: “For those wishing to donate items to the fire response please contact Tess Langford or Roxanne Townsend. These community members have agreed to stay in contact and will help coordinate these efforts. Thank you.”
  • There are also donation drop sites at the Havre Fire Department (520 4th Street) at any time, and at HRDC (Monday through Friday 8am-5pm, 2229 5th Avenue).
  • Cash donations can be made at Independence Bank and checks must be made out to East Fork Fire.
  • If you have resources available that could assist, the Hill County Emergency Operations Center says you can call 406-265-5481 ext. 467, or click this link and enter your information.

Due to high fire activity and high concerns, Hill County Commissioners signed an Emergency Declaration as of noon Thursday, August 31, 2017.

The Hill County Emergency Operations Center says that firefighting efforts have been hindered by aggressive fire behavior breaching Box Elder Creek and Sucker Creek fire lines. Crews are aggressively fighting the fire with back-burn operations and aggressive extended attack.

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Five cabins and five out-buildings have been destroyed by the fire.

The fire has crossed Sucker Creek and Box Elder Creek and containment lines are in place on Shambo Road.

Pre-evacuation warnings are being conducted for Bullhook Road that travels past Saddle Butte Estates and South through the Bullhook Drainage.

Due to fire progression, officials have set the trigger point for evacuation of Bullhook Road at Mountain Trail.

-David Sherman reporting for MTN News