Fire prompting evacuations off Vinyard Road, north of Great Falls
Update 7 p.m. Sept. 2: The fire is contained, there are no further evacuations and the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, per an email from Sheriff Jesse Slaughter.
Due to the grass fire burning near Vinyard Road and eastbound winds, Cascade County deputies are evacuating homes near Vinyard Road.
All of Golden Valley Loop is being evacuated, according to an update from CCSO.
Vaughn Fire Command has requested heavy aircraft from the Montana Department of Natural Resources, according to CCSO.
Firefighters are working on structure fires now and at least one explosion was visible.
Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter sent a notification just before 4 p.m. that evacuations were taking place and a Code Red Alert for a pre-evacuation of Cove Lane was also in place.
“The fire is gaining speed and is headed toward Bootlegger. Please take precautions and do not put yourself at risk to protect your property,” Slaughter said in an email to press.
Multiple rural fire agencies are responding, including Black Eagle, Vaughn, Ulm, Gore Hill and Fairfield and Cascade, and Great Falls Fire Rescue has also been called in to help fight the blaze. GFFR is at a second alarm and monitoring closely as the winds push the fire in the direction of the city limits. As of 5:28 p.m., city fire officials said the fire was no longer threatening the city limits.
Helicopters with a water bucket are dumping water on the fire and according to fire officials, air tankers from Helena may be coming to assist.
As a reminder, you can register for Code Red here.