300 homeowners under evacuation orders in Montana - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

300 homeowners under evacuation orders in Montana

BILLINGS, Mont. - An estimated 300 homeowners near Red Lodge remain on evacuation alert as dry thunderstorms, warm weather and low humidity are expected to breathe new life into a large wildfire burning outside town.

The Cascade fire remains about 6 miles from town. But the northern edge of the blaze is pushing against a ski area, Red Lodge Mountain Resort and a red flag warning has been issued fopr Friday afternoon, meaning conditions are prime for the fire to grow.

Fire officials say the fire spread some Thursday night but did not have an update from earlier reports of 9,400 acres, or almost 15 square miles charred. Crews are continuing work on a narrow fire line extending from the ski area across the West Fork of Rock Creek. The hope is the line will keep the fire within a steep, rugged canyon.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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