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Falling Star Fire 80 percent contained on Monday evening

Posted at 5:16 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 09:20:07-04

BILLINGS — The Falling Star Fire burning north of Park City reached 80 percent containment Monday and crews will begin to leave the area tomorrow, said Carol Arkell, Stillwater County Disaster and Emergency Services coordinator around 4:30 p.m.

"I just talked to the incident commander and he said that it's getting better all the time. They're looking at switching out crews tonight, but everything is very contained within the black lines. So, we're looking great," Arkell said.

The fire was started by people around 1 p.m. Sunday and burned 2,271 acres of mostly private land, Arkell said.

A few structures were singed but none were completely lost to the fire, Arkell said.

Around 300 homes were threatened. Homes on Benedict Gulch Road and Valley Creek Road were evacuated. Arkell said people got to go back to their homes around 8 p.m. Sunday.

About 130 firefighters were working the fire earlier on Monday. Arkell said three engines will stay in the area overnight doing patrol, but the majority of the crews will leave the area tomorrow.

No details are available about what caused the fire, other than that it was started by humans in Yellowstone County and the fire moved west into Stillwater County.

Arkell said Yellowstone County Sheriffs are investigating the cause. She said generally, the insurance company of the person who started the fire can be held responsible for the cost of firefighting services.

Local firefighters will be getting some help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help pay for the cost of firefighting.

According to a news release from Montana Gov. Steve Bullock's office, the federal grant could pay 75 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs like materials, equipment and field camps.