The West Garceau fire has doubled overnight. The blaze is now estimated at 4,000 to 5,000 acres and is not at all contained, according to Kurt Matt of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The fire is located on the ridge that separates the Hot Springs area from an area about five miles west of Polson.
As a result at least 15 people from the Irvine Flats area were evacuated; however by Wednesday morning they were allowed to return to their homes.
The ridge is known to be more arid than surrounding areas and dry, windy weather has made conditions worse, says Matt. He says winds were very erratic last night, with gusts up to 30 MPH.
Rick Kusicko's Type II Incident Management Team took over managing the fire as of 7:00 a.m. Wednesday.
The blaze has forced landowners to move grazing cattle in the area, according to C.S.K.T. Information Officer Devlin Lafromboise
Three heavy air tankers and two helicopters were on the scene last night, says Lafromboise.
Officials ask that people stay out of the area. Law enforcement officers are present to help.
NBC Montana will keep you updated as we learn more about this developing situation.