Wildfire destroys 24 houses in central Montana town

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A late-season wildfire that came amid unseasonably warm weather and was pushed by strong winds ripped through a tiny central Montana farming town overnight, burning 24 homes and four grain elevators that had stood for more than a century.

Fire crews were putting out hot spots Thursday and officials were assessing the damage done by the fire, which burned 20 square miles (50 square kilometers) of prairie and agricultural land before burning into the town of Denton this week.

The town’s nearly 300 residents evacuated. There were no reports of injuries.

“Rural fire agencies are continuing to work to prevent any further spread or damage,” the Fergus County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook on Thursday morning. “This work will continue for several more days.”

The fire started late Tuesday north of the town of Stanford and it was not initially considered a threat to Denton.

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