Crews continue battle against small wildfires

Evacuations near York remain
Posted at 9:26 AM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 11:36:10-04

HELENA — Fire crews in Jefferson County and Lewis and Clark County continue to battle or mop up multiple wildfires sparked by afternoon thunderstorms Tuesday.

Near the small town of York, two wildfires, the Devil’s Tower and Owl Gulch fires, prompted the evacuation of about 15 homes, according to Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton. Officials with the Type Two Incident Management team in charge of one of the fires near York told MTN Wednesday those evacuations remain in place.

As of late Tuesday night, The Devil’s Tower Fire had burned 20 acres and the Owl Gulch fire burned 17 acres. Crews hiked into the remote area where the Devil’s Tower fire is burning and spent the night. Officials said fire retardant lines have been drawn all the way around the Devil’s Tower fire. On Owl Gulch, crews have built a dozer line all the way around the fire.

The Kelly Gulch fire, burning about five miles west of Clancy, burned about 15 acres. According to the Clancy Volunteer Fire Department, crews were on scene throughout the night and early morning and are now in mop up operations. No structures are threatened.

Southeast of Lincoln, a small wildfire is burning in heavy and dead fuels near the head of Washington Creek near Helmville Gould Trail.

Meanwhile, the largest and most threatening fire, the North Hills Fire, has burned more than 4,600 acres and is 15 percent contained. A public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Helena Valley Community Center on Tizer Road.

This is developing story. Check back for updates.