Posted: Jun 26, 2012 12:47 AM by Evan Weborg, Melissa Anderson, Marnee Banks
Updated: Jun 26, 2012 12:48 AM
Fire officials say the cause of the Corral Fire, which has torched more than 700 acres and burned three homes and several trailers northwest of Helena, is accidental.
Lewis & Clark County fire officials are not releasing further details about how the Corral Fire started. However, they know the fire ignited on Sharptail Lane sometime after 4 p.m. and quickly spread throughout the Scratchgravel Hills.
Fire officials report due to windy conditions the fire is still highly unpredictable and people are asked to stay out of the affected area.
As of 11 pm on Monday, the Corral Fire triggered the evacuation of more than 200 homes west of Green Meadow Road.
Gas has been shut off in the affected area and there is no power along John G. Mine Road.
Several roads in the area remain closed. However, anyone who has a justifiable reason to enter the evacuated area should report to the Incident Command Post at Liberty Baptist Church on the corner of Sierra and Green Meadow Roads.
Five helicopters are being used to fight the fire, which is burning in standing dead trees.
So far there are no reports of injuries to residents in the area, but one firefighter had a minor injury to his eye. A horse also suffered some injuries.
Officials say that it may be 3-4 days before evacuees will be able to return to their homes.
Click here to see viewer photos of the fire.