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Sappington Fire near Willow Creek burns almost 200 acres

Area ranchers evacuated cattle due to the blaze
Sappington Fire near Willow Creek burns almost 200 acres
Posted at 6:18 PM, Jun 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-14 20:18:47-04

Multiple agencies were called Saturday afternoon to respond to a wildland fire outside of Willow Creek.

The fire sparked Saturday afternoon and burned into the night near Lewis & Clark Caverns and the site of the Rockin’ the Rivers music festival in Three Forks.

The cause of the fire is unknown, although downed power lines are suspected.

High winds were a problem for the firefighters, who were concerned the fire could spread across Highway Two into the property that hosts the music events every year.

"This is really scary for Montanans because this is where Rockin’ the Rivers happens and Country Jam happens and all your fun music festivities for the summer is where this goes on. So they want to get this stopped and save the property,” said Carissa Perry, whose family owns the Sappington Ranch.

Winds began to die down around 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening.

Shortly after, a helicopter arrived to drop water from the Jefferson River onto the fire.

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the Sappington Fire was considered under control as of 11 a.m. Sunday, mutual aid was released, and the Willow Creek Volunteer Fire Department took over management of the fire.

Big Sky Fire Department posted additional images from the scene and said on Facebook the fire burned around 170 acres.