GREAT FALLS — Officials said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference that the wildfire that tore through the Gibson Flats area overnight into the morning destroyed 11 homes, and "multiple" vehicles and garages.
Great Falls Fire Rescue Chief Jeremy Jones added that 11 garages, seven outbuildings, and numerous cars were also lost. The fire was reported around 2:45 a.m. and started in a field; the cause of the fire is still being investigated.
While no injuries have been reported it's still not clear when residents will be able to go back to their homes.
"It's going to be a while yet. We are setting up for people to get the resources they want with the Red Cross," Jones said. "Until the whole scene is cold, we're not worried about anything going again, it's just going to depend on the weather when that is."
He added that because the natural gas to the homes had to be shut off and because power was knocked out, both would also have to be restored before residents could go back.
Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter encouraged people to report downed power lines.
“It’s okay to call 911. Don’t assume that we know that power line is down. As things change, we may have missed it and it’s a safety concern for everyone that’s out there working, too.”
People who are affected by the fire and need assistance can contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-272-6668. Click here for information on how to help the people affected by the fire.
Great Falls Fire Rescue said that the blaze has burned an estimated 120 acres.