GALLATIN CANYON – There will be a community meeting tonight at the Gallatin Gateway Community Center at 6 p.m. to discuss the lightning-caused Millie Fire burning in the Storm Castle Creek drainage.
The fire is located 20 miles south/southwest of Bozeman in the Gallatin National Forest, Bozeman Ranger District. Currently at least 500 acres, it’s burning about three miles east of Rat Lake near the Blanchard inholding and is not contained at all.
A type I fire crew is on scene, with three engines, four smokejumpers and one local helicopter. Approximately 60 people are ordered and will be arriving throughout the day today. A Type II Incident Management team will also be arriving today and taking command of the fire on Friday morning.
The Spire Rock Campground and Garnet Mountain trail remain open. There is currently no ATV access to the cabin or other trails in the drainage. All trails and roads above the Spire Rock Campground are closed. Recreation residences along Highway 191 are open and have not been evacuated. An area closure is in place to all trail and roads leading into the fire area between Storm Castle Creek Road and south to the Swan Creek road and east to the Gallatin Ridge.
The Millie 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. Firefighters continue to work on securing an anchor point along the fire’s perimeter. The Millie Fire burned actively along all perimeters into the Tuesday evening and is expected to grow tomorrow.
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.
The 19-Mile Fire, west of Whitehall, had grown to 3,000 acres as of mid-day today. It’s located one mile south of 1-90. Firefighters are working on structure protection in the Whiskey Gulch area.