HELENA — On Wednesday morning Sheriff Wynn Meehan issued mandatory evacuations for Upper Duck Creek Road to Haynes Ranch, all Upper Gurnett Creek Road and one mile east of Highway 284 to Upper Dry Gulch Road.
Meehan says the fire burned over the ridge into Duck Creek Gulch as well into the Gurnet Creek and eastern area of Dry Gulch, becoming an immediate threat to land, property and people in the area.
Strong fire activity is predicted for Wednesday due to wind and high temperatures.
Meehan stated that while he cannot force anyone to leave, those that choose to stay should know that first responders will not come for them as it is too dangerous.
The lightning-sparked fire has burned an estimated 7,000 acres as of Tuesday evening. The fire was discovered on Saturday, July 10 near Boulder Lakes in the Big Belt Mountains.
Two public meetings have been scheduled for Wednesday night for residents.
The first meeting will be in White Sulphur Springs at 6 p.m. at the White Sulphur Springs High School Football Field.
The second meeting will be in Townsend at 8 p.m. at the Community building at the Townsend Fairgrounds.
The Montana Red Cross has set up a shelter an emergency evacuation center for residents displaced by the Woods Creek fire burning in Broadwater County.
The evacuation center is located at the Trailhead Christian Fellowship Church, 20 Trailhead View Drive in Townsend. Residents who check-in at the center will be provided services including a safe place to stay, meals and access to other community resources. All Red Cross services are free.
People also can request Red Cross services by calling 800-272-6668.