A fire near Molt grew to almost 3,000 acres Thursday morning but fire officials had optimistic news for residents by late afternoon.
Fire officials Thursday lifted the evacuation order for 15 residences southeast of Molt. Buffalo Trail Road, however, is still closed to all through traffic.
The Mountain View Fire northwest of Billings spread quickly when it started Wednesday due to dry conditions and erratic winds.
“The good news is it started out this morning as a worst case scenario and we were really anticipating a full fledged attack. As the day kind of unfolded and we kind of caught a break with the weather, it seems that we’re not going to have to do the emergency declaration or any of that," says Yellowstone County Commissioner Denis Pitman.
Yellowstone County has issued a temporary burn ban.
"We’ve had people out there since yesterday and they are rotating shifts plus trying to do their own jobs, so we need to make sure that we have as little fuel being ignited as possible right now," Pitman says.
As of Thursday afternoon, the fire was estimated to be about 20 percent contained. No structures have been lost.
About 75 firefighters from multiple agencies responded to the fire. Pitman says crews were "uing the helicopters as a resource to get in. This is pretty rugged terrain back in there and that’s what made this all the harder to ascertain as to its size or what it was going to do."