HELENA — The DNRC says fire crews have made good progress containing the Matt Staff Fire.
The fire, which started Thursday in dry and windy conditions, was listed at near 40 percent contained and had not grown significantly over the weekend.
On Sunday firefighters planned to work further into the fire interior to attack hot spots and improve the existing fire line. Aerial resources, including scoopers and helicopters, could be called in to assist fire crews.
Evacuations in Lewis and Clark and Broadwater County were lifted on Friday night, but residents near the fire are asked to use caution as fire personnel and equipment continue to work in the area. Matt Staff Rd. is only open to local traffic.
The Matt Staff Fire is being managed by the DNRC County Assist Team. It has burned 1,578 acres east of East Helena in the Spokane Hills. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials have said they have narrowed it down to a dragging chain or a cigarette butt.
The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office says despite recent rains, fuels in the area remain dry.