UPDATE: Deep Creek Fire estimated at 2,000 acres

The fire has jumped Highway 12 following strong winds on Tuesday
Deep Creek Fire June 15
 Evacuations ordered for residents near Deep Creek Fire
Posted at 3:29 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 11:01:19-04

9:20 p.m. Update - The estimated size of the Deep Creek Fire is now 2,000 acres and officials confirmed structures have been lost.

Incident Command report on Tuesday a spot fire started on the East flank and escaped spreading rapidly in red flag conditions. Ground crews responded, but the fire spread faster than could be contained. Details on what kind of structures were destroyed have not yet been released.

Air attack and retardant planes assisted to slow the spread of the fire. Ground resources are assessing a new plan based on the recent heavy fire activity.

Air tanker seen leaving Helena

Several air tankers were seen leaving Helena Tuesday evening heading in the direction of the Deep Creek Fire. The Helena Regional Airport just finished construction for replacing their runway on Sunday.

Air tanker seen leaving Helena

A public meeting is planned for June 16. A time and location will be announced on Wednesday once details are finalized.

7:45 p.m. Update - Gov. Greg Gianforte and Attorney General Austin Knudsen confirmed via social media that a DNRC helicopter crashed near Highway 12 by the Deep Creek Fire.

The governor indicated there were injuries, but the crew was safely evacuated and are receiving necessary medical care.

6:30 p.m. Update - The Broadwater Reporter has posted a video reportedly showing a firefighting helicopter crash near the Deep Creek Fire.

In the video flames and thick black smoke can be seen pouring from metal wreckage by the road.

The Broadwater Reporter in their Facebook post say officials on the scene have told them that all crew of the helicopter have evacuated safely.

MTN has not been allowed past the intersection of Highway 12 and Highway 284. We've reached out to multiple agencies but officials would not confirm to MTN the crash.

The Montana Red Cross has also opened an evacuation center for residents displaced by the wind-driven Deep Creek Fire.

The Red Cross evacuation center is located at the White Sulphur Springs Senior Citizens Center, 101 1st Ave. S.E. Residents who check in there will be provided services including a safe place to stay, meals and access to other community resources. All Red Cross services are free.

Families who need services should call the Montana Red Cross at 800-272-6668.

5:10 p.m. Update - The U.S. Forest Service are now in unified command with Montana DNRC and a Type 1 team has been ordered.

ORIGINAL STORY - The Deep Creek Fire has crossed Highway 12 due to strong winds on Tuesday and is burning to the north.

Law enforcement has Highway 12 closed to most eastbound traffic at the intersection with 284, the road to Canyon Ferry. Residents are only being allowed in as far as Ross Gulch.

Residents that live in the Thomason to the Grassy Mountain Subdivision are asked to follow the Meagher County Sheriff Office's evacuation instructions and head to the high school in White Sulphur Springs. The Meagher County Sheriff Office began evacuating the Springdale Colony around 3:00 p.m.

The Broadwater County Sheriff's Office will also be evacuating people in the area. Any resident in the area that feels that their home may be threatened by the fire should evacuate immediately.

The U.S. Forest Service reports air attack is on-scene, but it is a rapidly evolving situation due to the wind and hot temperature.

MTN’s Jonathon Ambarian is en route and will provide more information as it becomes available.