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North Hills fire in Helena prompts evacuations

Posted: 9:35 PM, Jul 26, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-26 23:35:12-04

UPDATE: 8:45 P.M.: The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office is issuing evacuation notices to the following areas:

  • Noble Lane
  • Snowdrift Road
  • Big Build Drive down to 6445
  • W. Haven Road
  • Mountain Meadow Road
  • Beginning at 6425 Timber Trail and North
  • Countryside Road
  • Black Sandy Loop
  • Church Hill Lane

Various departments are assisting, including law enforcement, the Forest Service, and some Volunteer Fire Departments.

Incident Command says the fire is 50% contained at the Dozer line. Sheriff Dutton says they’re making good progress.

The evacuations are beginning because the wind is blowing in the direction of the homes, and the fire chief wants to take every precaution.

They will be evaluating the fire every hour and will determine when it’s safe for residents to return home.

We will continue to update you as we learn more.

Evacuation Order from the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office: The threat from the wildland fire in the North Hills…

Posted by Lewis & Clark County Sheriff's Office on  Friday, July 26, 2019

UPDATE: 5:00 P.M.: The fire has grown in size and is still moving to the Northwest, into areas that are not populated.

No evacuations have been called for at this time, and the Sheriff’s Office asks that people remain away from Snowdrift Road to allow emergency response personnel access.

We will update you when we get more information.

UPDATE: 4:30 P.M.: The size of the fire in Helena’s North Hills has been downgraded to 12 acres, however, an air tanker has now been called in.

Two DNRC helicopters, several volunteer fire departments, and crews from the DNRC and Forest Service are on scene, according to Lewis and Clark County Emergency Management.

The fire is being pushed north/northwest where there are no structures.

Officials are asking people to remain off of Snowdrift Road so response personnel can access the area.

We will update you when we get more information.


UPDATE: 4:15 P.M: According to Sheriff Leo Dutton, large air tankers are being called in.


UPDATE 2:45 PM: The Lewis and Clark Co. Sheriff’s Office tells MTN that firefighters working a blaze in Helena’s North Hills are facing difficult terrain.

According to Sheriff Leo Dutton firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, DNRC, and at least seven different local agencies are trying to get the 25 to 30 acre wildfire under control.

Officials say the terrain has made it difficult to get engines and water tenders in the area and crews are working the fire by hand. Additional helicopters from Missoula and Dillon have been called in to help.

Firefighters are working to prevent the fire from crossing a ridge into the Black Sandy area where there are several dozen homes.

The fire is currently located at least three miles north of Snowdrift Rd. It is burning on BLM land.

Sheriff Dutton said the fire ignited in an area known to be popular with shooting. The have not determined what started the fire but suspect it was human caused.

The BLM is investigating.

A public information line has been established for the fire:  406-447-1605.


UPDATE 1:51 P.M.: The Lewis and Clark Co. Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to stay off Snowdrift Rd.

According to the Lewis and Clark Co.-City of Helena 911 Facebook page the fire is estimated at 25 acres and moving to the northwest.


HELENA- Crews from multiple fire departments are battling a wildfire that ignited Friday on Helena’s North Hills.

According to the Helena Interagency Dispatch Center and DNRC the fire is approximately 10 acres in size.

It is burning in an area east of Interstate 15 and north of Snowdrift Rd.

One DNRC helicopter, three DNRC engines and multiple volunteer agencies are fighting the fire.

According to Lewis and Clark-City of Helena 911 Center, there are no evacuations at this time.

We have a reporter on the way to the fire and will update you when more information is available.

Story by Jonathon Ambarian, MTN News