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Date:  July 19, 2008
Contact:  David Early (406) 683-8044

Cactus Fire Forces Evacuations

The Cactus Fire, burning about 10 miles west of Whitehall, Mont., has forced some residents from their homes in the mountains near Radar Creek between state highway #2 and I-90. 

Jefferson County sheriff's deputies responded quickly after receiving a 911 call about noon Saturday, and immediately began evacuating people close or near the wildfire. There is no official estimate of the number of people forced from their homes. 

The fire is still active, moving and growing.  As of 3:30 p.m. the fire had consumed 50-60 acres and is moving in a northeast direction up Whiskey Gulch towards I-90.

Multiple agencies are involved in the initial attack. People and resources from the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Jefferson County Volunteer Fire Department, Butte/Silver Bow Fire Department and the Montana State Department of Natural Resources (DNRC) are working on together on the ground. Additionally, two retardant tankers, two helicopters and at least half a dozen engines are on the fire.