Fire officials have lifted an evacuation order in the Rumsey Gulch area, outside of Phillipsburg, allowing residents to return to their homes. As of Wednesday night, five homes have been lost to the fire, and at least three other types of buildings burned as well. Containment was listed at 79 percent, and the size is still 349 acres.
Crews scheduled for Thursday’s efforts include ten engines, one helicopter, and 127 crewmembers total. Fire staff say the fire did not grow during the day, and teams have made progress on the fire line around the perimeter of the fire. No injuries have been reported. Fire officials say beetle-killed trees have caused difficulties, and terrain is steep, but overall, crews are progressing.
Rumsey Gulch road is closed to all drivers except local residents and work crews. Fire staff continue to caution residents to stay aware of changing conditions.
Forest Service staff tell NBC Montana that the Red Cross has been helping out, though all evacuees were able to stay with friends and family.