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Fire south of Philipsburg burns 5 houses

By NBC Montana Staff and The Associated Press
Published On: May 14 2013 08:12:20 AM MDT
Updated On: May 14 2013 08:59:28 PM MDT
PHILIPSBURG, Mont. -

The Rumsey Gulch fire has torn through 350 acres, damaging several structures and destroying five homes.

Fire officials tell us the blaze is being held within the perimeters of Rumsey Gulch and Summer's Gulch. The fire is 20 percent contained as of Tuesday night.

Crews called out three choppers, two hot shot crews andother top teams.

The fire is being managed by a type three team, which is made up of interagency officials from the DNRC, the local fire department and national forest officials.

Folks at the DNRC say they can usually stop a fire that is smaller than 10 acres, during the initial attack stage.

They say the Rumsey Gulch fire is in the 5 percent that gets out of control. It has reached an extended attack stage -- that's why the type three team was created.

Officials say they’ve lost several outbuildings, and are urging people to be extremely careful during this fire season.

Folks at the DNRC are urging residents to mitigate all fire fuel around their homes. That includes dry brush and packed rain gutters.

The following information is from the Associated Press:

A 350-acre fire driven by strong winds destroyed at least five homes along with other structures about four miles southwest of Philipsburg.

Fire information officer Cindy Super said Tuesday that the Granite County sheriff's office was confirming the number of buildings that burned, including outbuildings.

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest spokeswoman Leona Roderick said the sheriff's office evacuated about 20 seasonal and year-round homes in the area of the Rumsey Gulch Fire on Monday evening, but she did not know how many people were involved.   

Super says fire crews supported by three helicopters and eight engines worked Tuesday to protect other buildings and try to contain the fire, which was reported at about 6:20 p.m. Monday.