HELENA — UPDATE 8:30 PM: Officials with the U.S. Forest say tell MTN that a fire burning in the Deep Creek Canyon area between Townsend and White Sulphur Springs has burned an estimated 200 acres and is still growing.
The acreage was determined following a an aerial survey of the fire.
According to District Fire Manager David Nunn, about 50 people are fighting the fire and Hotshot crews have been ordered.
Highway 12 through Deep Creek Canyon briefly reopened, but was shut down again a short time later due to poor visibility from smoke.
FIRST REPORT: Officials have closed Highway 12 east of Townsend due to a wildfire.
The fire is burning in the Deep Creek Canyon area between Townsend and White Sulphur Springs. Officials estimate that as of 5 p.m. on Sunday it had burned about 30 acres.
Highway 12 is closed about 18 miles east of Townsend due to low visibility from smoke. Traffic is being detoured from the area. People in the area should watch out for emergency vehicles.
According to David Nunn with the U.S. Forest Service, several agencies are responding to the fire and aerial resources have been requested.
The cause of the fire is not yet known.
We will update you as we get more information