Evacuations started Monday evening as the Rumsey Gulch fire grew to 200 acres in a forested area about four miles southeast of Philipsburg.
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest spokeswoman Leona Roderick said at 9:30 p.m. Monday that “multiple structures” also were threatened, but details on the number of people and buildings affected were unavailable.
She said firefighters from the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the U.S. Forest Service and volunteer fire departments were fighting the blaze, which was reported about 6:20 p.m. There was no containment by 9:30 p.m.
The cause of the blaze is unknown, but Roderick said “horrific winds” swept through the area Monday afternoon.
Near Wise River, the Pioneer fire reached 45 acres and was reported 75 percent contained by Monday evening, Roderick said.
The fire is about five miles west of Wise River along Highway 43, according to Rodreick.
A helicopter, hand crew and two Forest Service engines were battling the fire. Volunteer firefighters from Wise River, Wisdom and Dillon were assisting.
The helicopter was later released to fight the Rumsey Gulch fire.
Roderick said the fire jumped across the highway, and she advised travelers to take an alternate route.
The cause of the fire remained unknown Monday evening.
Roderick warned homeowners to take a close look at their property to make sure their homes are defensible against wildfire.
“Whatever they do, they must be careful with fire,” she said.