Harris Mountain Fire evacuations lifted

The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office has rescinded all evacuation warnings and orders related to the Harris Mountain Fire thanks to “lucky weather changes” and firefighting efforts.

The fire is currently 31,591 acres and is 43 percent contained, according to InciWeb.

The rain and cloud cover slowed fire growth allowing crews to make progress on the southern and western edges of the fire. Firefighters constructed a line near Frank’s Ridge on the southern portion of the fire and on the western side, they checked for hot spots and extinguished areas of heat about 60 feet interior of the fire edge, according to InciWeb.

Lower Holter Lake reopening to recreation Aug. 6

Crews are working in the west fork of Hound Creek. Removal of hoses, sprinklers and portable water reservoirs from Sheep Creek is continuing and firefighters are using a chipper to reduce fuels in Cox Creek and Novak Lane to aid with structure protection efforts, according to InciWeb.

CCSO rescinded evacuation orders on Aug. 6 for Austin Lane, Sheep Creek Lane and Sheep Creek Road, but kept evacuation orders in place at the time for Adel Road south of the intersection with the West Hound Creed Road as well as Cannon Lake Lane, and maintained the pre-evacuation notices for Novak Creek Lane. Those orders and notices were lifted Aug. 9.

Community meeting planned in Cascade July 29 for Harris Mountain Fire

Evacuations are officially ordered by the local Sheriff’s Office, call them with any questions pertaining to evacuations. In the event additional evacuations are put into place, deputies will be dispatched to the area to notify residents and emergency notifications will be sent via phone if you have signed up for Code Red.

The Montana Red Cross evacuation center is located at the Cascade School. Families can also request Red Cross Services by calling 800-272-6668.

Harris Mountain Fire now more than 19,000 acres

The Balsinger Fire near Neihart is about 8,614 acres and 45 percent contained, according to InciWeb.

The fire received solid rainfall over the weekend and diminished fire behavior is expected on all divisions due to the rainfall. Areas of heat, such as those south of Thunder Mountain, may show back up as fuels dry. Crews will be in monitor and patrol status . They will mop up areas with remaining heat in the Divide Road area. They also plan to improve road access on the west side by opening up Divide Road toward Deer Creek. They are focusing efforts on protecting the communities of Neihart and Monarch. Crews have completed structure protection in Monarch, according to InciWeb.