UPDATE, AUG. 7 AT 9:19 AM:
Crews are planning on working deeper into the fire and focusing on the interior to suppress hot spots Sunday.
In addition, the fireline will be improved to ensure the fire is kept within the existing perimeter.
As of an update sent Sunday morning, the Matt Staff Fire is estimated to be 1,587 acres large and is 38% contained.
“Fire traffic is still utilizing the road systems around the fire and we are asking the public to drive slowly and avoid the area unless necessary,” County Assist Team Safety Officer, Tim Crosmer said.
UPDATE, AUG. 6 at 11:27 AM:
Those who were evacuated can now return home as all evacuations have been lifted by Lewis and Clark County and Broadwater County.
Roads in the fire area are open to local traffic only.
As of this update, the Matt Staff Fire is 1,583 acres large and is 0% contained.
UPDATE, AUG. 6 at 9:47 AM:
The Helena Interagency Fire Investigation Team has narrowed down a possible origin of the Matt Staff Fire.
An update from the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office says the fire started very close to the road and quickly spread to the wheat field.
If you happened to drive by when the fire had just started, you are asked to call the sheriff’s office at 406-447-8293.
UPDATE, AUG. 5 AT 6:33 PM:
Residents on Jimmy Green and Temper can return home, as the area has been moved to pre-evacuation status the Broadwater County Sheriff's Office announced.
UPDATE, AUG. 5 AT 3:38 PM:
An update sent Friday afternoon says the Matt Staff Fire is believed to be human caused.
More specific details have not yet been released and the investigation is ongoing.
As of Friday, the fire is 1,538 acres large and is burning about five miles east of East Helena.
“Fire activity is increasing across the state as fuels dry out and we need the public to help support our firefighters by doing their part to prevent human caused fires. Yesterday’s fire response would not have been possible without the support and cooperative response of our local volunteer firefighters and cooperating agencies,” says Heidi Crum the DNRC’s Helena Unit Manager.
DNRC reports an incident Management Team was ordered because this fire has exceeded the capacity of the local units.
An evacuation order is still in place for the West Shore Drive area south of the Lewis and Clark day use site and for residents of Jimmy Green Road.
Fire aviation efforts were temporarily shut down Friday due to a drone incursion.
People are being reminded it is a federal crime to interfere with firefighting aircraft regardless of whether restrictions are established, and violators can face stiff penalties.
The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incursion.
“For the safety of firefighters and pilots when unidentified aircraft and drones enter the airspace we have to shutdown fire suppression aircraft until the drone is removed from the area” said Chris Splieth of DNRC’s Helena Unit Fire Manager.
A public meeting is planned to discuss the meeting Friday at 7:00 pm at 3200 Spokane Creek Road in East Helena.
UPDATE, AUG. 5 AT 12:46 PM:
Evacuation and Pre-evacuation orders from the Matt Staff Fire are still in effect the Broadwater County Sheriff's Office said Friday morning.
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UPDATE 10:08 PM:
Fire personnel are still on the scene and active as of 9:30 pm.
The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office said the fire is laying down for the night and thanked the first responders who assisted.
UPDATE 8:39 PM:
The Matt Staff Fire is estimated to be 1,900 acres large as of 8:30 pm Thursday evening.
UPDATE 7:42 PM:
The evacuation has been extended to residents on Loon Rd. and Candlelight Rd.
If you see any new fire sightings overnight, you are asked to call (406) 431-3600 to report it.
So far, there have been 24 evacuations and no structures have been burned, the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff's Office reports.
It is currently unknown how many acres have burned.
UPDATE 7:13 PM:
As of 7:00 pm, Matt Staff Rd. is open to residents only, an update from the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff's Office said.
South of West Shore Dr. and the Lewis and Clark Day Use area are still closed and nobody is allowed in at this time.
UPDATE AT 6:08 PM:
According to the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff's Office, Spokane Creek Rd. is open.
They have also shared the following number for public information: (406) 447-8305
UPDATE AT 5:48 PM:
An evacuee respite center will be opening at the First Assembly of God Church at 2210 Dodge Ave. starting at 6:00 pm for people evacuated due to the fire, named the Matt Staff Fire, near Spokane Creek.
Red Cross has announced they have opened the center.
UPDATE AT 5:04 PM:
The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office announced they have begun evacuations from Matt Staff Road and West Shore Drive to the Lewis and Clark Day Use area.
The Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office reports LF Baum and Lazy HM are on a pre-evacuation caution.
There are multiple first responders reported to be in the area of Spokane Creek Rd and Harvest Lp.
BROADWATER CO., Mont. - First responders were called out Thursday for a fast-moving fire.
The fire is reported to be in the Spokane Creek area, the Broadwater County Sheriff's Office said.
People are asked to stay out of the area and to use caution if they need to go through.
At this time, the sheriff’s office says LF Baum and Jimmy Green are on evacuation notice, not an active evacuation.