Montana Wildfire Forces Evacuations; Water Helicopter Crashes In Idaho

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- A growing wildfire north of Helena, Montana, has forced residents of another 60 homes to evacuate. Thirty other families were notified earlier.

The blaze has grown from 2200 acres to more than 4000 acres. Smoke from the fire has blown into the Helena area and has prompted closure of the 28,000 Gates of the Mountains Wilderness.

A U-S Forest Service official says conditions are expected to worsen, with forecasts calling for more hot, dry weather. As the official puts it, "the outlook is pretty grim."

Meanwhile, two pilots have been injured in Idaho. Their helicopter crash-landed in a marshy area while dropping water on wildfire. One pilot was treated at a hospital and released.. Doctors are holding the other for observation.

The biggest of the western wildfires now covers more than a thousand square miles along the Idaho-Nevada border.


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