Four cabins burned down and 14 more residences were evacuated as the Alice Creek fire near Lincoln grew an additional 5,887 acres Sunday night.
The latest evacuations include the Landers Fork and Elk Trail subdivisions northeast of Lincoln, as well as the Alice Creek Basin and Tom's Gulch areas on the southwestern flank of the fire.
Mandatory evacuations remain for residents on both sides of Highway 200, south of Highway 434, from mile marker 92 through mile marker 100, extending east to the south fork of the Dearborn River. Evacuations also remain for residents in the Evergreen Subdivision (Elk Meadows subdivision), and ranches west of Road 434/435 north of Highway 200.
Because of the numerous evacuations, officials are not allowing evacuated residents back into the fire area until they can get a better understanding of the fire’s overall growth. When conditions allow, the Lewis and Clark County sheriff may provide escorts. This may not occur until Tuesday or Wednesday.
Firefighters and law enforcement are still working to find and assess any additional structures that may have been impacted by the fire's growth.
A Red Cross shelter is on standby at Wolf Creek Elementary School, 150 Walsh St. Area residents who need assistance are encouraged to contact Red Cross at 1-800-272-6668.
Questions concerning the evacuations can be directed to the public information officer at 208-991-0067.
Valley Veterinary Hospital at 4880 North Montana Ave. in Helena is taking in animals displaced by area fires. Anyone wanting to shelter an animal should call first, 442-0188.
The fire was estimated at a total 17,480 acres Monday. It was sparked by lightning on July 22 about 16 miles northeast of Lincoln and is considered 5 percent contained.
Though law enforcement has set up an additional roadblock at Copper Creek and Highway 200, Highway 200 reopened Monday morning after closing from Highway 279 to Highway 287 Sunday.
"Rogers Pass is covered by smoke from the fire," Sheriff Leo Dutton said Monday. "Use caution when praassing through the area."
On Sunday, the National Forest Service closed all lands, trails and roads north of Highway 200 on the Lincoln Ranger District.