GREAT FALLS — The Pine Grove Fire near Hays has now burned an estimated 5,000 acres. The fire was discovered at about 11:35 a.m. on Monday.
Just after 8 p.m., the Fort Belknap Council said all residents of Zortman and the Zortman area need to be on notice for possible evacuation.
At 9:30 p.m., they requested that people voluntarily evacuate Zortman, and to pack only essentials.
At 11:30 p.m, they said that Hays Pine Grove and Star Hill are on a WARNING status for evacuation: "This is a time for preparation, precautionary movement of persons with special needs, pets, etc."
The fire is being managed as a Type 3 Incident with 19 personnel on site; fire behavior is said to be "extreme."
Earlier on Monday, a spokeswoman for Fort Belknap said there were two fires - the Pine Grove Fire, and another one is in the agency; Fort Belknap officials said at about 7:25 p.m. that the agency-side fire has been contained, and crews were mopping up.
There have been no reports of any serious injuries, and there is no word yet on the suspected cause of the fire.
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