Jun 27, 2012 9:57 AM by Angela Douglas - MTN News

Dahl Fire near Roundup grows to 18,700+ acres

ROUNDUP- The Dahl Fire, burning southwest of Roundup Wednesday morning, has scorched an estimated 18,751 acres and is 0% contained.

A preliminary estimate of 60 homes have been destroyed in the fire. But, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Public Information Officer Paula Short says fire officials expect the acreage and the number of burned structures to increase Wednesday after they do a flyover later Wednesday morning.

The blaze is burning one mile east of Highway 87 which is closed to all traffic 25 miles north of Billings up to the intersection of Highway 12.

Signal Peak Mine employees have been evacuated as well as hundreds of homeowners in the fire's path.

The cause of the Dahl Fire is unknown, but lightning is a possibility. Only 30 to 50 volunteer firefighters have been working the fire since it sparked Tuesday afternoon, but more assistance is expected later Wednesday afternoon.

The weather will continue to challenge firefighters, with temperatures expected to climb into the upper 80s and low 90s along with low humidity and 30 mph winds. Firefighters will continue with structure protection and suppression efforts on Wednesday.

A second fire in Musselshell County, the Hawk Creek Fire, is estimated at around 1,500 acres.

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