All residential evacuations related to the North Hills fire were lifted at noon yesterday after officials met early in the morning.
In a statement put out by the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s department, Sheriff Leo Dutton said “In consultation with volunteer fire Chiefs Bob Drake and John Naylor, cooperating agencies and the Incident Management Team, we have made the decision to lift these evacuations”. He went on to say “We are relieved that we can safely let people return home, and ask that they exercise extra caution as crews and equipment are still in the area. Safety is always the highest priority.”
The press release also stated that the roads were to be opened to public areas, including White Sandy campground and Black Sandy State Park, however all Forest Service and BLM area closures will remain in place until further notice.
Firefighters, personnel and equipment remain in these areas. The public should exercise extreme caution when returning home or recreating so crews can safely continue to work. Do not enter burn areas as hazards may be present.
Currently the North Hills fire is over 5,000 acres in size, and 65% contained. No structures have been damaged due to the fire, and no injuries have been reported.
For the latest information on the North Hills fire call 406-458-3508 or go online to inciweb.nwg.gov