A scar from the Willow Creek fire approaches a home on June 11. Officials said humans caused the fire, which has burned 330 acres.

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A fire broke out in Broadwater County on Sunday, sending up a plume of smoke that could be seen rising north of the Gallatin Valley.

The Deep Creek fire was estimated at 174 acres on Monday, according to the fire information service InciWeb. It is burning in timber and grass north of U.S. Highway 12. Law enforcement reduced the highway to one lane of traffic.

The blaze is one of a few that have started already this summer, giving Montana’s fire season a jumpstart amid a wave of warm weather. Another fire started south of Red Lodge this weekend, and crews spent much of last week trying to contain the Willow Creek fire southwest of Three Forks.

Nationwide, there have already been more than 27,000 wildfires and more than 951,000 acres burned, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Elsewhere in Montana, the Robertson Draw fire also started this weekend. The blaze near the Montana-Wyoming border south of Red Lodge was estimated at about 200 acres on Monday.

It’s burning in sage, grass and timber. There are 80 people working on the fire, according to InciWeb, and it has forced evacuations in the Gold and Ruby creek drainages.

West of Bozeman, firefighters finished their work on the Willow Creek fire. Fire officials announced Sunday morning that the 330-acre blaze was 100% contained. The human-caused fire started Wednesday and burned private land about 6 miles southwest of Three Forks.

Warm weather will create favorable fire conditions on Tuesday. Predicted high temperatures and strong winds prompted a red flag warning for several counties in central Montana that lasts through Tuesday night.

In Bozeman, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning beginning Tuesday. Temperatures are predicted to reach a high of 97 degrees at the airport. Winds are expected to blow between 24 mph and 29 mph in the afternoon with gusts as high as 44 mph.

Yellowstone National Park announced Monday that fire danger in the park is moderate. There are no active wildfires in the park.

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