Wildfire near Helena caused by escaped controlled burn

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Sunday’s wildfire near Birdseye Road northwest of Helena was caused by a controlled burn that escaped, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said. 

The fire remains under investigation and no charges have been filed yet, he said. 

Several homes were evacuated and some roads were closed as the fast-moving wildfire burned in the area Sunday afternoon, but all residents were allowed to return home later the same evening. 

The fire was reported just before 1:45 p.m. Sunday and burned a total of 9.9 acres, said Birdseye Volunteer Fire Department Chief Kyle Sturgill-Simon. No structures were burned and no injuries were reported, he said.  

A fast-moving wildfire burned Sunday afternoon near Birdseye Road northwest of Helena. 

Gary Marshall, BMGphotos.com

Firefighters battled windy conditions Sunday afternoon before a snowstorm moved into the area Monday morning. The National Weather Service in Great Falls had issued a warning about high fire danger over the weekend but stopped short of declaring a red flag warning, as wind gusts were localized to certain areas.

“There were concerns about some shifting weather that thankfully didn’t come around,” Sturgill-Simon

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