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Officials to announce emergency declaration for fire burning northwest of Billings

Helicopters stage
Posted at 10:58 AM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 20:23:05-04


County officials said in a statement early Thursday afternoon that they will not declare an emergency due to the Mountain View Fire. Thursday afternoon, county officials updated the size of the fire to around 2,700 acres, down from roughly 8 to 10,000 acres previously reported. Fire crews were able to fly over the fire Thursday morning to better measure the footprint of the fire.

The county will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. as scheduled to release updated and revised information regarding the fire.

BILLINGS - Yellowstone County commissioners were preparing Thursday morning to make an emergency declaration for the Mountain View Fire burning northwest of Billings.

The fire quickly grew since it was first discovered Wednesday afternoon, and has burned 8,000 to 10,000 acres of land.

On Thursday morning officials said fire crews have it 25 percent contained.

About 15 homes east of Buffalo Trail Road between Lipp Road and Medicine Man Trail were evacuated Wednesday night. No structures have been reported lost.

Fire crews were still doing structure protection for homes along Buffalo Trail.

Most of the fire is burning areas already harvested for wheat, along with dry timber and grass in hard-to-access ravines.

Helicopters were doing water drops on hot-spots in those hard to reach areas.

While the cause is under investigation, locals report seeing lightning strikes in the area earlier this week.

The Yellowstone County commissioners plan to hold a press conference at 3 p.m. Thursday to announce the emergency declaration.

The declaration will allow the county to access more state funds for firefighting efforts.

RELATED: Evacuations ordered east of Buffalo Trail Road near Molt for fire