After Windy Night, Hamilton Fire Has Burned 11 Square Miles

Fire grew by about 4 square miles over Tuesday night

By Molly Priddy

HAMILTON — After a windy night, a western Montana wildfire has burned just over 11 square miles in the Bitterroot National Forest.

Fire information officer Mike Cole says the wind picked up at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and the fire grew by about 4 square miles from early Tuesday to early Wednesday. The Roaring Lion Fire started on Sunday afternoon about 5 miles southwest of Hamilton and destroyed 14 homes along with dozens of outbuildings and some vehicles. The cause is still under investigation.

Cole says it doesn’t appear any more homes burned on Tuesday night. The residents of about 630 homes have been evacuated and a couple hundred more have been warned to prepare to evacuate.

Cooler weather is forecast for Wednesday, giving crews a chance to improve fire lines.

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