Update: Eustis Fire North of Three Forks
Here is the latest info we have on the Eustis Fire as of 11:30am Sunday morning. This fire info comes to us courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office:
Current Fire Situation: Significant fire growth to the southwest occurred in the late afternoon and evening yesterday, driven by north winds off the Missouri River. The fire also made small runs on the northeast side. Active fire behavior continued until 11:30 pm, with steady winds out of the north. Early this morning crews observed an increase in fire activity compared to yesterday morning. Fire spread continues to be inconsistent and unpredictable due to erratic winds and variability in fuel type. Residents along Old Town Road were given preliminary evacuation advisories yesterday evening.
Down power lines have been cleared from the Eustis Road and power has been temporarily rerouted and restored to the irrigation district pump station. Transmission lines are still down within parts of the fire perimeter but all are de-energized. The petroleum pipeline is being monitored to guard against further impacts. The fire is approximately 1.5 miles from Highway 287.
The primary fuels are wheat stubble and grasses intermixed with juniper and pine in the uplands and breaks along the Missouri River. Access is intermittently limited by steep, rocky terrain especially on the north, east, and south sides of the fire.
Closures: Eustis Road and Old Town Road are closed to the public.
Narrative: Fire was initially reported at 10:30am on Friday, August 14th. Firefighters from Gallatin and Broadwater Counties responded for initial attack. Erratic winds resulting from passing thunderstorms caused rapid fire growth late that afternoon and into the evening. The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) County Assist Team Incident Commander, David Hamilton, assumed command and management of this fire today. The team is implementing a full suppression strategy to put the fire out as safely and quickly as possible.
Line construction efforts have been limited by extremely rocky terrain and lack of anchor points. Crews are working to identify locations for constructing and enhancing containment lines on all sections of the fire. Two Type II crews are arriving today and will prioritize line construction and improvement along the east side of the fire.
Current Resources: 2 skidgines, 2 water tenders, 2 dozers, 8 engines, 1 DNRC helicopter. Two Type II hand crews will arrive today. Air support is available out of Helena but is being shared with other incidents. More resources are being ordered and will be assigned as they become available.
Agencies Involved: Broadwater County, Gallatin County, DNRC, Bureau of Land Management, Helena National Forest
Special Concerns: SAFETY of firefighters and the public is the number one priority.
For continues updates on this fire visit the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.