HELENA (AP) — Montana authorities have ordered residents of a rural subdivision to leave their homes ahead of a fire spreading through dense forest filled with beetle-killed trees.
Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said Tuesday that people in 27 of the 77 homes have complied with the evacuation orders. He says residents of 17 homes decided to stay and nobody answered at 33 homes.
The homes are located near a windy mountain highway that leads to Flesher Pass east of Lincoln.
The fire started Monday and quickly grew to 500 acres due to hot, dry and windy conditions pushing the fire through trees killed by insects. Fire officials say it consumed another wildfire burning a couple of miles away.
The cause is unknown. Fire crews plan to assess what structure protection measures are needed on Tuesday.