A grass fire near Silver Star on Saturday got some help from high winds and got close to houses before area fire departments contained the blaze.
By the time it was contained, the fire had burned approximately 100 acres south of Silver Star.
Even though officials originally said the fire was the result of a controlled burn that got out of control, the cause is still being investigated according to Madison County Undersheriff Roger Thompson. It appears now the fire was not a result of a controlled burn or a cigarette thrown into the grass.
The fire was called in at about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and started near Keltner Lane in the subdivision called Jefferson Acres. The fire spread north and scorched some of the grassland and willows in the northern portion of the subdivision before jumping to the east side of the Jefferson River. Some houses were threatened, but no private property was damaged and no one was injured. The flames did get within 20 feet of one structure.
Fire units from Twin Bridges, Sheridan, Whitehall and the U.S. Forest Service responded to the fire. Two units remained overnight to catch any flare-ups.
Last Thursday area fire departments responded to a wild lands fire on Sun Ranch Road. Firefighters fought the fire for nearly three hours and contained it to about eight acres.
The Forest Service also responded to fire on Sun Ranch Road.
Madison County Department of Emergency Director Chris Mumme said the managers of Sun Ranch had controlled fire that they had a permit for that the wind got a hold of.
“It could have been a lot worse if the wind was worse,” said Mumme. “But the Sun Ranch got right on it and we got it out.”
Mumme advises the public to remember we are approaching the dry season in Montana.
“Even though there has been a snow pack increase, we are actually drier than last year,” says Mumme. “While we have no restrictions right now, we just need to be aware as we head into the hills and mountains. It wouldn’t take much to get a fire going.”