UPDATE 2 p.m. Monday
The Bray fire burning about 10 miles southeast of Wolf Creek grew to about 240 acres Monday, according to Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton.
The fire is burning into Bray Gulch approximately two miles east of Holter Lake BLM campground. Sunday evening Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office issued a mandatory evacuation notice to residents on the north side of Beartooth Road. Residents on the south side of the road received an evacuation warning and all campground sites along Holter Lake were also evacuated.
Two fires were reported yesterday afternoon, the Bray fire and the 5-acre Timberline fire near Craig.
Initial attack was made by firefighters from Dearborn, West Valley, Lewis and Clark County, Wolf Creek, East Gate, Craig and Baxendale. Two DNRC helicopters and two National Guard helicopters assisted.
The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation County Assist Team took over command on the fire Monday morning.
Six engines, nine smokejumpers, one dozer, multiple air resources were on scene with more resources ordered.
Both fires are burning in steep and rugged terrain primarily in open pine and grass. The Timber Hill fire is not accessible by fire engines. Firefighters hiked into the area to work the fire yesterday and aviation support was on the scene.
A public meeting will be held Monday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. at the Craig School which is now used as the Fire Training Center.
The Bray Gulch fire is burning in about 100 acres of timber above Holter Lake, said Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton.
The fire started Sunday afternoon. The cause is still officially under investigation.
The Beartooth Road, which runs along the east shore of Holter Lake, was closed Sunday afternoon and all the campgrounds in the area were evacuated, Dutton said.
Sunday night officials on the Bray Gulch fire began evacuating all residents on the north side of Beartooth Road. Officials are keeping residents on the south side of the road under evacuation warning. Officials believe they'll be able to hold the fire at the Beartooth Road, Dutton said.
Firefighters were using Holter Lake Campground as a staging area Sunday night, Dutton said. Heavy air tankers were dropping retardant on the fire and crews were trying to build some fire line in the steep and rough terrain. Also, Montana National Guard helicopters were dropping water on the fire to aid in initial attack efforts.
Additionally, east of Craig the Timber Gulch got firefighters' attention about the time the Bray Gulch fire was heating up. But fire crews jumped on the three to five acre fire quickly and got it under control, Dutton said.
This story was updated at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Check back Monday morning at www.helenair.com for more information.