HELENA, Mont. — The Latest on wildfires burning in Montana (all times local):
Residents on the south side of Montana’s capital city have been told they may have to evacuate because of a wildfire outside the community.
No evacuation orders had been issued for Helena late Thursday afternoon, but some residents south of the city were told to leave their homes. Authorities did not immediately say how many homes were involved.
Paul Spangler, disaster coordinator for Lewis and Clark County, which includes Helena, says the wind would have to shift for the fire to threaten the city.
The wildfire started Thursday after a thunderstorm moved through the area.
The Helena Independent Record reports (http://bit.ly/2wsEnAT ) the fire had burned 300 acres (1 square kilometer).
A wildfire that started after a thunderstorm moved through the Helena area has led to evacuations for several homes in the hills south of the city.
The Jefferson County sheriff’s office issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents in a forested area between Helena and Montana City and to the west of Interstate 15 on Thursday afternoon.
It was not immediately clear how many homes were in the area.
The Independent Record reports the fire had burned between 100 and 150 acres by 3:30 p.m. and the wind was still blowing.
More evacuation orders are in place near a western Montana wildfire due to high winds and thunderstorms forecast for Thursday.
Ravalli County emergency management officials say about 150 homes south of the town of Florence were evacuated Wednesday night. Fire information officer Mike Cole says erratic winds Wednesday created dangerous fire behavior.
Sheriff Steve Holton says the homes also were evacuated out of concern of gusty winds and dry thunderstorms expected Thursday.
The lightning-caused Lolo Peak Fire has burned 53 square miles (138 square kilometers) since it started in mid-July.