Via Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest: The Yogo Fire, first reported on Saturday, Oct. 3, in the Little Belt Mountains on the Judith Musselshell Ranger District has grown significantly in the last 24 hours due to high winds, dry fuels and steep slopes. The Yogo Fire is now estimated to be over 3,000 acres in size and burning between the Warm Springs Basin and Yogo Creek. Strong southwest winds have pushed the fire 4-5 miles east of its origin into the Yogo Creek drainage to its the confluence point with Skunk Gulch.
“Our primary objective is to protect the public while not compromising safety to our firefighters and pilots,” said Incident Commander Matt Plagenz. “We are asking for the public to follow evacuation orders and respect area closures.”
Utilizing helicopters and air tankers, firefighters were able to make progress over the weekend on the north and west flanks of the fire. Air attack efforts were hampered on the east side of the fire due to high winds, visibility concerns, and limited firefighting resources. A forest spokesperson says there was a drone intrusion in the area over the weekend, which grounded helicopters and air tankers, and kept valuable air resources from actively assisting with firefighting.
Visitors in the Yogo Creek drainage were evacuated for public safety and an area closure is forthcoming.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.