GREAT FALLS - The Alice Creek Fire has burned 21,393 acres as of Tuesday, an increase of 3,913 acres in the last 24 hours.
That updated number comes from an early Tuesday morning flyover using an infrared camera.
Four structures have been lost to the fire near the end of Bedrock Road.
The Lewis and Clark Sheriff's Office is working to notify owners of those structures.
The fire was sparked by lightning on July 22.
At 11:50 p.m. on Sunday, the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff issued evacuation orders for the Landers Fork and Elk Trail Subdivisions due to the fire backing down Alice Creek. Officers reported smoke had reduced visibility in Elk Trail Loop to approximately 25 feet. A roadblock is in place at Copper Creek and Highway 200. Highway 200 is currently open.
The Alice Creek Basin and the Tom’s Gulch were also evacuated overnight. These areas were put on a pre-evacuation notice yesterday.
The Dearborn Community has not received a pre-evacuation notice at this time. While the fire is moving in a northerly direction east of Blowout Mountain, fire leadership anticipates a northwesterly wind will blow the fire east, towards Little Skunk Creek today.
Due to numerous evacuation orders taking place, incident personnel are not allowing evacuated residents back into the fire area until they can get a better understanding of the fire’s overall growth throughout the night.
When conditions allow, the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff may provide escorts. This may not happen until Tuesday or Wednesday.
At 7 a.m. on Monday, the day shift received their operational briefing and is developing a new plan that includes getting aircraft in the sky early to get a better understanding of the fire's movement.
A Red Cross Shelter is on standby at the Wolf Creek Elementary School. Residents that may need assistance are encouraged to contact Red Cross at 1-800-272-6668.