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Southwest Montana fire burns buildings

Horseshoe Fire, Photo Courtesy Nevada Thompson

Craig Campbell, the Bozeman unit manager for the Montana DNRC, told NBC Montana Tuesday morning that the Horseshoe Fire burning near outside of Clarkston is still uncontained and has now burned 2,000 acres. He said structures have been lost, but it is unclear how many or if they are homes.

“There were structures that burned,” Campbell said. “But a whole lot more structures were saved.”

Campbell said he is hopeful improving conditions will allow crews to gain control of the fire and do a ground assessment of the type and number of structures that burned. He said there are fire crews on all sides of the fires working to establish fire lines and they are aided by two helicopters making water drops, with two more are on order.

A county assistance team has been ordered and will take over management of the fire sometime Tuesday night, Campbell said. No evacuation orders are in place at this time.

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A fire burning in southwestern Montana fire continues to grow.

Local, state and federal resources are battling the fire which has burned an estimated 3 square miles (8 square kilometers) of land near the Gallatin County community of Clarkston. The community is along the Missouri River northeast of Three Forks.

The fire, which started Monday afternoon, has destroyed an unknown number of buildings. The cause of fire is under investigation.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Deborah McAtee says the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is putting an incident management team in place, indicating the fire was expected to burn for several days.

The sheriff's office did issue some pre-evacuation notices Monday night, but no notifications were in place at mid-day Tuesday. McAtee says some residents have moved livestock out of the area.

10:25 a.m.

An incident management team is being brought in to oversee a fire burning in southwestern Montana.

Volunteer and local fire crews responded to a fire Monday afternoon near the community of Clarkston in Gallatin County. The state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation deployed an air tanker to dump retardant and a helicopter to drop water on the blaze.

Emergency Management officials estimated the fire burned just over 2 square miles (6 square kilometers) and an unknown number of buildings on Monday. An updated estimate was not immediately available Tuesday.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Deborah McAtee says an incident management team was being brought in Tuesday, indicating the fire was expected to burn for several days.

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8:20 a.m.

A fire in southwestern Montana burned buildings, while firefighters east of Townsend battled a controlled burn that got out of control.

The fire east of Clarkston, in Gallatin County, started Monday afternoon and burned just over 2 square miles (6 square kilometers) of land. Sheriff's Capt. Jason Jarrett told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that some buildings had burned, but he could not say how many.

He says no injuries were reported and the cause of fire is under investigation.

Just to the north, in Broadwater County, Sheriff Wynn Meehan tells the Independent Record a farmer was burning off wheat residue Monday evening when he lost control of the fire. It burned up to an additional 450 acres (182 hectares). Residences of nearly two dozen homes were given a pre-evacuation notice, but no homes were threatened.

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