MISSOULA, Mont. - Fire officials tell NBC Montana the "North Hills Fire" in the North Duncan Drive area of Missoula reached 80 acres, and as of Friday night is 100 percent contained. Crews will keep a close eye on the scene throughout Friday night. Officials say the blaze was an extreme threat to about a dozen homes.
"Normally it wouldn't have spread as fast as it did without the wind behind it, and obviously the dry conditions…everybody needs to be super careful," said Missoula Fire Department Captain Mark Ekstrom.
Authorities say the blaze was apparently caused by a failed power line, which sparked a fast-moving grass fire. Missoula Police Department officers set up a road block in the area of North Duncan and Mountain View, and on Friday night, part of North Duncan Drive was only open to residents. At least two helicopters responded to the scene, and smoke was visible in downtown Missoula.
Crews also responded to a blaze in the Point Six area. The Lolo National Forest reported the blaze at around 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Authorities say it started in a remote location about one mile northeast of Point Six on the Missoula Ranger District. Two helicopters responded, and dropped water on it. No structures were threatened and the fire remained small.