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New Montana Fire Tops National Priority List, Families Displaced to Emergency Shelter

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Firefighters and other first responders have been working day and night for two days since a lightning strike caused the Gibraltar Ridge Fire to flare up Monday night. According to Fire Information Officer Hailey Graf, the quick spread of the fire and the evacuation of around 30 homes has put it high on the national priority list.

“I believe this is the number one priority fire in the country as of this morning,” Graf said. “When I spoke with the folks at the Red Cross about the shelter, there were about a dozen people there last night, I believe it was more the previous night, so there are a few folks staying at hotels in the area, staying with families in the area.”

The fire grew to about 500 acres during its first night, and has now more than doubled in size.

“We did get an infrared flight conducted last night, and we know the fire is at about 1,153 acres,” Graf said. “The sheriff is working really closely with the residents in Eureka and Deputies and officers are individually notifying residents when they are in evacuation or pre-evacuation.

It’s unclear how many have received evacuation notices or warnings. Graf says that foretasted thunderstorms for the area are worrisome, as strong winds and more lightning are likely to make the situation worse.

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