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Evacuations lifted for wildfire near Helena
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Evacuations lifted for wildfire near Helena

Several homes near Birdseye Road northwest of Helena were evacuated as a fast-moving wildfire burned in the area Sunday afternoon, but all residents were allowed to return home later the same evening. 

Officials estimated the fire burned roughly 7-10 acres as of Sunday evening, Lewis and Clark County Undersheriff Brent Colbert said. No structures were burned and no injuries were reported, he said. 

The areas that were evacuated included Sunset Road, Sun Hill Drive, Windy Ridge Drive, Eagle Ridge Road, Shangrilla Drive and Redwing Road east of Shangrilla Drive. 

While Colbert was not able to estimate the number of homes included in the evacuations, he said there were “quite a few.”

An evacuation point was set up at Last Chance Chapel, 6240 Raven Road. 

All roadblocks were also also lifted Sunday evening. Roadblocks were previously set up at Redwing Road and Shangrilla Drive, Birdseye Road and Eagle Ridge Road, Birdseye Road and Sunset Road, and Equestrian Drive and Stallion Ridge Drive, Colbert said. 

The resources on the scene included two helicopters from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and personnel from seven volunteer fire departments and the county sheriff's office. 

Crew were expected to remain on the scene through Sunday night, Colbert said. 

"The fire service will continue with mop-up operations," the sheriff's office said in an announcement on Facebook. "Use caution if you are returning home. The Sheriff's Office thanks the community for its continued support and understanding during this Easter Sunday emergency."

Officials do not yet know how the fire started. 

Editor Jesse Chaney can be reached at 406-447-4074, or find him on Twitter: @IR_JesseChaney. 

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