Firefighters are on their way to containing several grass fires that ripped through the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana Wednesday night.
It was a terrifying night for many there, as evacuations disrupted the town throughout the evening.
The Missoulian website has the latest Thursday morning from Browning:
Blackfeet tribe officials say firefighters are starting to get a handle on two wind-fueled fires that have burned buildings and forced evacuations on the northwestern Montana reservation.
The fires started Wednesday evening and quickly spread to 45,000 acres overnight, fueled by wind gusts greater than 70 miles per hour. At least 300 people were forced from their homes, though no injuries were reported.
The Great Falls Tribune reported from the fires last night:
“This is probably the worst grassfire that we’ve ever experienced in our history,” Wayne Smith said.
As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, the worst of the fires were two separate blazes that had grown to a combined size of 10,000 acres — and were still growing — Smith said.
. . .
ribal police were moving ahead of the flames to evacuate homes in the fires’ path. The Hutterite colonies of Seville and Hidden Lake near Cut Bank also were evacuated, Smith said.
He added that no injuries had been reported as of late Wednesday, but some structures had been consumed by the fires.
“The fires just got out of control,” he said. “It’s been spreading at a rapid pace.”
The Montana Department of Transportation closed Highway 2 from the Highway 89 junction in Browning to Cut Bank because of the nearby fires.