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UPDATE – More Evacuations Ordered in West Mullan Fire Near Superior [AUDIO]

West Mullan Fire
photo courtesy of KECI-TV/NBC Montana

UPDATE – Tuesday, July 16, 8:00 a.m.

Movement by the West Mullan Fire burning not far from Superior has caused more evacuations, according to fire information officer Pat McKelvey.

“There were some more evacuations ordered overnight in the West Mullan Road area,” McKelvey said. “The fire burned down the slope towards those homes.”

McKelvey said traffic is becoming a problem on I-90.

“Everybody wants to see the fire, see the helicopters working the area, and people are stopping on the side of the road  creating a traffic hazard,” McKelvey said. “The Highway Patrol is being very aggressive in keeping people from stopping along the highway, so please don’t do that.”

Fire Information Officer Pat McKelvey

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The fire is still at about 700 acres.

The fire started at the base of that hill and it’s very visible from Interstate 90, it went up a steep slope when the winds caught it, and it went to 500 acres late Sunday,” Hartwig said. “10 to 12 homes and small businesses were evacuated, but no structures have been lost, so we made it through that wind event yesterday. We’ll try to make some progress on that leading edge of the fire today.”

Hartwig outlined the strategy for fighting the fire.

“They’ll try to get an anchor point established at the base of that fire, and then really work the east side to keep it from moving in that direction,” Hartwig said. “The big concern is protecting those structures and homes in that area right now. We’ve got the Superior ranger district along with Plains ranger district firefighters working the blaze, and there are some local rural firefighters, as well. State, federal and local, we’re all working together.”

The fire is located about about a half-mile north of the Interstate, and two miles west and northwest of Superior. It’s cause is still under investigation.

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