Posted: Aug 30, 2012 5:09 AM
Updated: Aug 30, 2012 7:50 AM
LIVINGSTON, MT - The Pine Creek fire in Paradise Valley spread out, moving north and fast Wednesday night.
Fire officials said the blaze burned through the town of Pine Creek. The areas of Pine Creek Campground, Luccock Park Church Camp and the Pine Creek KOA have all been evacuated. The KOA Campground tells Q2 that their campgrounds have not been burned.
Evacuations are going on right now along the East river road, south of Livingston.
"I have physically seen flame-ups and seen neighbors describe to me several homes were burned," said Leslie Gaines, who was visiting a friend in the area. "There's pockets of flames, sometimes shooting 50, 60 feet in the air. You can tell, you know, crown fires hopping from tree to tree."
The fire erupted about 3:30 Wednesday and it was estimated at 2,500 acres Wednesday night.
"I don't know the story, but I saw the start to the river side of East River Road and it crossed, went through Pine Creek," said Dan Hull, who lives in the Paradise Valley. "It has travelled miles and it is pretty spectacular, it's quite sad though."
East river road is closed from Mill creek to the junction at Highway 89.
Fire officials say the fire did burn through the town of Pine Creek, destroying some homes, but there is no count as of Wednesday night.
The Pine Creek Café building, the church and the school are fine, according to a Gallatin National Forest spokesperson.
The Civic Center in Livingston is being used for evacuees.
Park County Commissioner Randy Taylor says, crews will evaluate and count what homes have been lost.
So far, he says there have been just some minor injuries reported.