The Alice Creek fire burning northeast of Lincoln grew by more than 10,000 acres over the last two days, pushing its total size to nearly 22,000 acres.
Due to the fire’s rapid growth, containment has dropped from 5 percent to zero percent, according to the incident management team.
"Night before last we had a pretty significant wind event, a cold front came through and pushed the fire down the Alice Creek drainage," Tyler Monroe with the fire's incident management team said Tuesday morning.
Calm, favorable wind and cooler weather overnight Monday allowed firefighters working the night shift to make progress constructing dozer lines and using fire to create a containment line west of Highway 200.
To the northeast where structures are considered threatened, Monroe said things were "looking pretty good."
Four cabins burned down at the end of Bedrock Road and 14 more residences were evacuated as the Alice Creek fire near Lincoln grew an additional 5,887 acres Sunday night.
The latest evacuations include the Landers Fork and Elk Trail subdivisions northeast of Lincoln, as well as the Alice Creek Basin and Tom's Gulch areas on the southwestern flank of the fire.
Mandatory evacuations remain for residents on both sides of Highway 200, south of Highway 434, extending east to the south fork of the Dearborn River. Evacuations also remain for residents in the Evergreen Subdivision (Elk Meadows subdivision), and ranches west of Road 434/435 north of Highway 200.
There are approximately 90 residents affected by the evacuation orders. The Dearborn Canyon residents have not received a pre-evacuation notice. However, they should be ready to leave, if conditions rapidly change.
A Red Cross shelter is on standby at Wolf Creek Elementary School, 150 Walsh St. Area residents who need assistance are encouraged to contact Red Cross at 1-800-272-6668.
Questions concerning the evacuations can be directed to the public information officer at 208-991-0067.
Valley Veterinary Hospital at 4880 North Montana Ave. in Helena is taking in animals displaced by area fires. Anyone wanting to shelter an animal should call first, 442-0188.
On Sunday, the National Forest Service closed all lands, trails and roads north of Highway 200 on the Lincoln Ranger District.
High pressure is building in the region that will bring warmer temperatures, and a return to smoke inversions. Meteorologists anticipate light northerly wind on the ridges, which will allow groups of trees to torch and in the warmer part of the day, to make short uphill runs.