The lightning-caused Gibralter Ridge Fire east of Eureka has grown to more than 1,100 acres since Monday night.
Spotting caused by high winds created hazardous conditions and fire growth overnight Tuesday.
Evacuations for over 30 homes that went into effect late Monday night remained in place Wednesday with pre-evacuation orders going into effect for surrounding residents. Sherman Creek, Griffith Creek, Terriault Pass and Stevens Creek are still under evacuation orders. Glen Lake and Sinclair Creek are under pre-evacuation orders.
The Ten Lakes and Grave Creek recreation area is closed at the junction of Foothills Road and Grave Creek.
A steady stream of evacuees has been flowing in and out of a temporary shelter set up by the American Red Cross of Montana at the First Church of God in Eureka, said Hailey Graf, public information officer for the fire.
On Wednesday morning, 76 firefighters were on the scene with ground crews being assisted by aerial resources. Structure protection and holding the fire at the Foothills road area were the top priorities.
Graf said a Type 2 Incident Team planned to take over command Wednesday evening to begin large-scale firefighting efforts.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies are currently going door to door, notifying residents of evacuation and pre-evacuation orders.
According to Graf, a reverse 911 call service is also now active. The service allows local 911 dispatch to make calls to residents registered in their call logs to inform them of evacuation notices.
Graf encourages residents in and near the Eureka area to remain alert in case of further evacuation orders.
She said the Gibralter Ridge fire is a rapidly developing situation and advised all residents to have an emergency evacuation plan in place.
For current updates on the Gibralter Ridge fire, visit http://www.wildcad.net.
Reporter Mary Cloud Taylor can be reached at 758-4459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.