The Cottonwood Gulch Fire near Manhattan, Montana broke out just before noon on Sunday, October 11, but quickly grew to over 8,000 acres. Fire information officer Kerry O’Connell said that there are some houses that are within a few hundred yards of the blaze.

"We have about 50 structures that are threatened right now. Those residents have been notified by law enforcement that the fire fire is in the area," O'Connell said. "Nobody has been evacuated from their home because of the fire, but we've notified a lot of people that we may have to do that in case the fire spreads toward their home."

The fire is burning on state and private land and grew rapidly under strong winds.

"We're saying it's about 8,700 acres. We have a rough GPS on it," O'Connell said. "It was a wind-driven fire. We had quite a bit of wind that was carrying that fire to the northeast from where it started. It was screaming true there when it was goin'."

Investigators have revealed that the fire was human caused, but because the investigation is still underway, authorities could not disclose whether the fire was malicious or accidental in nature.

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