GREAT FALLS — The Harris Mountain Fire (Inciweb) has burned an estimated 27,333 acres as Sunday morning (August 1), and is about 18% contained. The fire was sparked by lightning on Friday, July 23, and is about seven to ten miles south/southeast of the town of Cascade. As of Sunday, there have been no reported injuries and no damaged structures.
- As of July 31st at 6:00 PM - Evacuation Orders changed to Pre-Evacuation Notices for all residences from Willow Run Guest Ranch to the intersection of Adel Road and West Hound Creek Road; residents may return to their homes in these areas. Cascade County Sheriff’s Deputies will be making contact with those affected by this change. If substantial changes in fire behavior occur these orders and warnings could be reinstated, possibly with very short notice.
- Evacuation Orders are still in place for residents living on Adel Road south of the intersection with the West Hound Creek Road, Cannon Lake Lane, Sheep Creek Road (east of Willow Run Guest Ranch), Sheep Creek Lane and Austin Lane.
- Pre-Evacuation Notices are still in place for Novak Creek Lane.
- Approximately 60 residences have been affected by evacuation orders and notifications. The Montana Red Cross evacuation center is located at the Cascade School. Families can also request Red Cross Services by calling 800-272-6668.
The southwest portion of the Harris Mountain Fire was active well into the early hours of the morning moving farther into Lewis & Clark County. An infrared flight did not occur yesterday evening due to weather. Fire personnel will assess fire growth today, both on the ground and through aerial reconnaissance.
Current and Planned Activity
Yesterday, firefighters continued to construct line directly on the fire’s edge where possible. In the West Fork of Hound Creek, crews extinguished areas of heat near the fire’s edge while aircraft dropped buckets of water to help slow the fire spread. Structure protection continued in the Sheep Creek area while structure assessment began in Cox Creek. Substantial support from aircraft, with 2 to 3 helicopters working the southeast and southwest portions of the fire with water drops. Firefighters working the night shift, from 7:00 PM to 11:00 AM, monitored fire activity in the southeast as well as in Sheep Creek and Novak Creek, providing point protection near structures as necessary.
Today, crews on the north edge of the fire will monitor constructed fireline and further secure the line as needed. Firefighters working the eastern portion will continue to construct fireline directly on the fire’s edge where possible both to the northwest and southwest of current containment line. In areas where the fire has reached structures, crews will continue to secure those areas by extinguishing any remaining areas of heat. Aviation will be used to support firefighting efforts on the ground by slowing the fire spread as visibility allows.