25 structures lost, no loss of life in Denton fire

·2 min read
A wildfire destroyed 25 structures in Denton Wednesday, but no serious injuries or deaths were reported, according to the Fergus County Sheriff's Office.
A wildfire destroyed 25 structures in Denton Wednesday, but no serious injuries or deaths were reported, according to the Fergus County Sheriff's Office.

High winds pushed a wildfire into Denton Wednesday, destroying 25 structures and prompting an evacuation of the small Fergus County town.

Structures lost included grain elevators and bridges. However, there were no reports of deaths or serious injuries, according to a release from the Fergus County Sheriff’s Office.

The fire was first reported Tuesday in neighboring Judith Basin County and spread into Fergus County due to the high-wind event in northcentral Montana over the last several days. The Denton area saw peak wind gusts of up to 66 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service in Great Falls.

For local stories that matter, subscribe today.

Residents of Denton were evacuated around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday as the fire continued to encroach the town, and an emergency shelter was set up in Lewistown at the Civic Center.

The Montana Radio Company has set up a portal for those who want to donate those in Denton who were affected by the fire. Donations can be made via PayPal at montanaradio.com/406-gives. Those who want to donate by cash or check can leave donations at Stockman Bank or mail a check to Montana Winter Fair, PO Box 931, Lewistown, MT 59457. The checks should be made out to Montana Winter Fair with "West Wind Fire" in the memo line.

Fire crews continued to fight the fire Thursday and the evacuation order was expected to be rescinded by noon. However, FCSO encouraged residents to continue to be on guard and allow fire crews to continue to work, and only essential traffic would be allowed in the area.

Highway 81 west of Denton remained closed as the fire destroyed a bridge.

Updates will be provided later Thursday, according to FCSO.

This story will be updated.

This article originally appeared on Great Falls Tribune: 25 structures lost, no loss of life in Montana wildfire