Winds Fan Helena Fire, More Homes Evacuated
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Gov. Brian Schweitzer has declared a state of emergency for four Montana counties where wildfires are burning.
The emergency order signed Tuesday afternoon is for Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, Jefferson and Madison counties due to the fires and extremely hazardous conditions.
The order allows Schweitzer to mobilize state resources and the Montana National Guard.
At least six wildfires are burning in southwestern and eastern Montana. A red-flag warning remained in effect until midnight Tuesday.
Lewis and Clark County officials began evacuating additional homes north of Helena as strong winds Tuesday afternoon fanned a 1,400-acre fire that destroyed at least four houses a day earlier.
Winds gusting up to 52 mph were recorded early Tuesday afternoon, pushing the fire to the northeast.