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Firefighters Wednesday wrangled a grass and juniper fire that burned through fields and threatened structures north of Bozeman.

The approximately 100 acre fire scorched fields in the Bridger foothills near the intersection of Toohey and Walker roads, releasing a plume of smoke that could be seen across town Wednesday evening.

Ron Lindroth, incident commander and fire chief of the Central Valley Fire District, said just after 6 p.m. that the fire had been fully contained, and firefighters were beginning to mop up.

Lindroth said he believed the fire was agriculture-related, likely caused by a combine.

Units from all over the valley, including resources from the Central Valley, Bridger Canyon, Hyalite and Bozeman fire districts, responded to reports of the fire at around 4:30 p.m., Lindroth said. Helicopters were also used in the response.

Onlookers watched from Toohey Road as tractors cruised through the blackened fields, cutting dirt for a makeshift fire break. Fire crews congregated near a line of singed cottonwoods. Helicopters circled the hills.

Several homes and barns were threatened, but were actively defended by firefighters, Lindroth said. At one point, the fire burned through trees, and a spot fire started 200 acres away.

Firefighters were able to put that fire out.

No structures were damaged and no evacuations were issued, Lindroth said.

Gallatin County was one of several Montana counties included in a red flag warning for hazardous fire weather. The warning lasts until 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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Helena Dore can be reached at or at 582-2628.

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