HAMILTON — Residents who had been evacuated due to a western Montana wildfire have been allowed to return home, but they were warned to remain alert to future evacuation notices.
The Roaring Lion Fire, which has burned nearly 13 square miles in the Bitterroot National Forest southwest of Hamilton, was considered 30 percent contained on Monday. Some crews were being released.
The Ravalli County sheriff’s office told residents on Sunday they could return home, but they were cautioned about fire weakened trees, which can fall with little to no warning.
The fire, which started on July 31, burned 14 homes and dozens of outbuildings. More than 600 homes were evacuated.
On Monday, crews planned to mop up around homes and patrol containment lines. However, managers don’t expect to have the fire contained until late September. So far, it has cost $6.1 million to fight the fire.
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