GALLATIN CANYON – Firefighters were battling the newly detected Millie Fire burning in the Storm Castle drainage south of Bozeman this afternoon. The lightning-caused fire is located three to four miles east of Rat Lake and 18 – 20 miles south of Bozeman. As of 10 p.m., it was burning 500 acres.
The fire started at approximately 1:05 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon and is burning in heavy dead and down fuels, mixed conifer and sub-alpine fir, in steep and rugged terrain.
As of 9:25 p.m., firefighters were working on securing an anchor point along the fire’s perimeter. There were three engines on scene, four smokejumpers and one local helicopter. Approximately 60 more people had been ordered and will be arriving throughout the day tomorrow, with a Type II team ordered but unfilled currently due to fire activity in the Northwest.
The fire burned actively along all perimeters into the evening and is expected to grow on Wednesday. A dry cold weather front is expected to arrive mid-day over the fire vicinity with gusty and erratic winds eventually shifting south to southwest.
Spire Rock Campground and Garnet Mountain trail are currently open. All trails and roads above the Spire Rock Campground are closed. Recreation residences along Highway 191 are currently open and have not been evacuated. An area closure is expected tomorrow for all trail and roads leading into the fire area.
Another fire, the 425-acre 19 Mile Fire, is burning west of Whitehall.
More information available at inciweb.org/incident/3215/.