A wildfire east of Bozeman sends crews scrambling
It broke out around 11am in the Trail Creek Road area, about 11 miles east of Bozeman.
Fire bosses got help from area fire departments and called in support from a number of agencies to hit the fire hard, before it got out of control.
Witnesses say it took only minutes for a small plume of smoke to explode into a full on wildland fire.
"We dispatched with our own resources and then bumped it up to a first alarm on the way to the scene, knowing that we'd need more resources," says Fort Ellis Fire Department's Mike Cech.
They called in a helicopter, the DNRC and Forest Service.
Yet, it wasn't long before the two acre blaze spread to 10-15 acres. With several homes in the area, first responders immediately got to protecting structures.
"We had engines that were set up at the various structures along the way here, just in case the fire got to there. When we first got on scene, there was one house that was being threatened. We sent an engine up there right away," explains Cech.
After evacuating that home and containing a blaze from a trailer and propane tank that caught fire, officials divvied up resources, setting up sectors around the blaze.
They say one of their greatest challenges was weather.
"The wind started to blow and just on the other side of this ridge is Timberline subdivision which has many, many houses back there so, we were very concerned that fire would start spreading up on the ridge and get up on top and go over the top," says Cech.
Sheriff's deputies say they knocked on doors in the immediate area, warning nearby residents of the fire.
Officials say firefighters contained the blaze quickly, in about an hour and a half, and spent the afternoon mopping up hot spots to ensure the wind didn't reignite embers and cause the fire to flare up.
Crews had the fire under control before the helicopter arrived.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.