West Wind Fire burns grain elevators and dozens of structures in Denton, Montana

Grain elevators burn in Denton, Montana Dec. 1, 2021. Fergus Co. Sheriff Office photo.

Grain elevators and 25 homes burned in Denton, Montana Wednesday as a large wildfire burned through the town, the Fergus County Sheriff’s office said.

The West Wind Fire was reported at 11:14 p.m. Tuesday Nov. near Highway 80. Pushed by 24 to 40 mph winds gusting out of the west up to 60 mph hour it quickly spread east from Judith Basin County into Fergus County. On Wednesday Dec. 1 it burned into Denton, population about 300, and destroyed grain elevators, bridges, and 25 residences. The Sheriff’s Facebook page has a list of the affected homes.

West Wind Fire map Dec. 2, 2021
West Wind Fire map Dec. 2, 2021

The wind was too strong on Wednesday for aircraft to assist firefighters.

The town was evacuated and there were no reports of serious injuries or fatalities. The Sheriff expected to lift the evacuation order Thursday afternoon. Highway 81 west of Denton is closed due to a bridge that burned.

The fire, 18-miles long, was no longer spreading on Thursday after burning  10,644 acres.

There has been record setting heat in Montana in recent days.

High temperatures in the West

The wildfire potential in central Montana is predicted to be higher than average in December.

December fire weather outlook

Do not drive into a flooded street. Do not drive into a fire.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.
View all posts by Bill Gabbert