GREAT FALLS — Update 10:15 p.m. - The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) provided an update on the Rock Creek Fire Saturday night.
DNRC along with partners from the Helena Lewis and Clark National Forest, MDOT, MT Highway patrol, Lewis and Clark county Sherriff office, and Lewis and Clark County, and County Mutual Aid from many volunteer fire departments are working to contain the Rock Creek Fire located north of Helena, MT near Mile Marker 1 on Highway 287.
The Rock Creek Fire is estimated to be about 500 acres and is currently growing.
DNRC is in command of the fire and has prioritized response efforts and suppression resources to the fire, including an air tanker, two helicopters, a helitack crew, and multiple fire engines. Firefighters continue to prioritize suppressing the fire as quickly as possible while protecting values at risk such as infrastructure, private property, and natural resources.
The Red Cross has established a shelter in Great Falls at New Hope Lutheran Church, 3125 5th Ave S. Please call the Red Cross at 800-272-6668 and ask for Shellie Creveling to make arrangements. If you cannot make it to Great Falls and need assistance in Helena, please call the same number and they can assist you.
A wildfire sparked between Craig and Wolf Creek on Saturday; it has been named the Rock Creek Fire by the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation.
At about 6:45 p.m., the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff's Office said: "A fire is burning between Craig and the Augusta turnoff, in the area of mile marker 232. Please avoid this area."
Several witnesses have said that the fire is on the north/west side of I-15.
I-15 has been closed between Craig and Wolf Creek. Northbound traffic is being diverted to Montana Highway 434 and southbound traffic is being turned around.
Law enforcement from several agencies are evacuating homes in the immediate vicinity of the fire, and anyone that feels that their home is in the path of the fire should prepare to evacuate.
At 7:55 p.m., the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff's Office said that Seven Mile Road is closed from Craig. Hwy 287 is closed from Craig to Seven Mile Road. Frontage Road is closed between Craig and Wolf Creek.
Just before 9 p.m., the DNRC said the fire is "roughly estimated" to have burned about 500 acres.
Air tankers and helicopters can be seen making water drops on the fire.
There are no reports of any injuries. At this point, there is no word on the cause of the fire.
We will update you as get more information.