HELENA- The DNRC says a fire burning in central Montana grew Sunday driven by red flag conditions.
Late Sunday evening a large plume of smoke could be seen north of the Helena Valley. According to DNRC Public Information Officer Martin Balukas, that fire is the Shellrock Fire. It is burning in timber on Shellrock Ridge behind the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness on the east side of the Missouri River.
The fire is on a mix of state and private land near the Beartooth Wildlife Management Area.
It is an estimated 125 acres. Balukas says the area is remote and difficult to access. One DNRC engine team and six smoke jumpers are working the fire. The DNRC has requested more smokejumpers and a larger incident management team.
At this time it not threatening any structures.
A small fire that broke out on private land in Helena’s North Hills is under control. Firefighters remain on scene to make sure the fire does not spread. There is no estimate on the fire’s size.
The DNRC is also working on a fire in the Cuniff Basin area south of Bean Lake.
Late Sunday the officials with Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest said the Trail 467 fire southeast of Lincoln is 60 percent contained.
The weather prompted the Lewis and Clark Co. Sheriff’s Office to put residents in the McQuithy Gulch and Marsh Creek area on pre-evacuation notice.
Crews will work on strengthing the fire line on Monday. Information boards will be posted at the Lincoln Ranger Station, Lincoln Post Office, and Canyon Creek Country Store.
That fire has burned about 20 acres.