Willow Creek Fire Burning 500 Acres Southwest of Three Forks
Residents in fewer than a dozen rural homes on Milligan Canyon Road in Jefferson County were warned Wednesday they may need to evacuate if the Willow Creek Fire makes a run.
The 500 acre Willow Creek Fire is burning southwest of Three Forks, between Highway 2 and Interstate 90, east of the Lewis and Clark Caverns and west of Willow Creek.
The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s County Assist team led by Incident Commander David Hamilton assumed management of the fire Thursday at noon.
The fire is burning grass, brush and timber in steep and inaccessible terrain. A 4 pm update says the fire is not currently growing in size.
Still, Crystal Beckman, fire public information officer, says firefighters are on heightened alert as the weather forecast is for erratic winds and thunderstorms later Thursday.
The Willow Creek Fire was first reported Wednesday afternoon, according to an incident overview posted to InciWeb. Local, state and federal firefighters responded, as did fire departments from Gallatin, Broadwater and Jefferson counties.
Four helicopters dropped water on the fire’s flaming front to aid ground crews that worked into the evening Wednesday. The fire was moving away from a subdivision area containing numerous structures.
The cause of the Willow Creek Fire is unknown. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says the fire is under investigation.