Posted: Jul 30, 2013 9:16 AM by Jacqueline Quynh - MTN News
ARLEE - Evacuated residents near Arlee are getting closer to returning home after being evacuated due to the Firestone Flats Fire.
Residents headed to Arlee High School on Monday night to learn more about the fire, which has burned 1,750 acres since sparking on Saturday afternoon.
Evacuees were told they may be allowed to return home at 5 p.m. Tuesday if the fire has settled down. While the news meant that folks in the Jocko Road area had to wait a bit longer, some residents told us they are breathing a bit easier.
"It looked like the atom bomb, fell off. It was only a half mile from our house. My anxiety was due to the fact that there's only so much you can do in a fire like this if the weather doesn't cooperate, but the response was extremely good," resident Fred Tilly said.
Crews continued to arrive on Monday to help battle the blaze, which is now about 40% contained, with strong efforts in the west and south divisions reducing the threat on the valley floor.
Officials say 50 structures are still being threatened by the fire, but no structures have been lost.
"The structures are actually in pretty good shape right now as long as we don't get any spotting over in the south flank and the south flank, we're looking at pretty hard, and so far so good," Incident Commander Bob Fry said.
Fire officials say there are several rumors going around about how the fire started, but investigators are still working on determining the cause.
The fire is continuing to burn in steep and rugged terrain.