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Cold, Wet Weather Could Help Tamp Down MT Wildfires

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Fire crews hoped to make gains on wildfires that forced evacuations and destroyed structures in central and southern Montana, as a cold front descended Monday with cooler temperatures, rain and high-elevation snow.

The Bridger Foothills Fire burning in timber northeast of Bozeman started Friday and spread across more than 11 square miles (28 square kilometers) over the weekend amid warm and windy conditions.

Rain and snow were forecast for the Bozeman area Monday, with temperatures dipping to around 20 degrees (-7 Celsius) overnight and accumulating snowfall possible.

The fire prompted evacuations when it threatened more than 250 homes in the Bridger Canyon area on Sunday. Officials confirmed Monday that some structures had been lost, but the amount of damage was not clear.

Evacuation orders remained in effect.

In central Montana, authorities lifted evacuation orders for a fire that started last week southeast of Roundup and charred more than 46 square miles (119 square kilometers). The BobCat Fire burned at least 10 structures and grew by several square miles Sunday.