POWELL (WNE) — A wildfire north of Clark in the Beartooth Mountain Range blew up on Monday, rapidly growing from about 40 acres in the morning to roughly 230 acres by the late afternoon.
When it was first reported Sunday, the Robertson Draw Fire was burning mostly in sagebrush and grass.
However, the fire moved into the timber in the Shoshone and Custer Gallatin National Forests Monday as Clark residents watched flames towering over mature trees and spreading quickly.
Crews are worried high temperatures and strong winds could push the fire further into Wyoming.
The fire was near Line Creek, about 2 miles from the nearest structures, as of Monday afternoon.
Resources at the scene include engines and firefighters from the Forest Service and Bridger, Belfry and Red Lodge fire departments, Billings Type II veterans and the Pilot Peak Wildland module out of Cody, said Custer Gallatin National Forest public relations officer Marna Daley.
The initial fire was fairly easy to access in the Custer Gallatin National Forest, Daley said, but has moved into extremely steep terrain.
“It’s hot, dry and windy. It will continue to burn,” she said.
Monday afternoon two helicopters took turns dropping water on the Wyoming side of the fire. No structures are threatened at this time, according to Daley, but the Ruby Creek and Gold Creek drainages have been evacuated and the North and South Fork of Grove Creek were in pre-evacuation standby as of 4 p.m. Monday.
There are area closures for the plateau south of U.S. Highway 212 from Mt. Maurice Trailhead to Greenough Lake. The Eastside campground had yet to be evacuated.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.