Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fires prompt evacuations; famed Testicle Festival still a go

--Mike and I are traveling to Glacier National Park. There's a few forrest fires here in Montana, and this was one of the headlines- **************************

Fires prompt evacuations; famed Testicle Festival still a go By SARAH COOKE / Associated Press Writer HELENA — More than 100 homes and other buildings were threatened Monday by a trio of fast-moving wildfires southeast of Missoula, but organizers of the area’s famed Testicle Festival said the five-day bacchanalia was still a go. The 25th annual bash was slated to start Wednesday at the Rock Creek Lodge in Clinton along Interstate 90. It typically draws thousands of people from around the world eager to consume deep-fried bull testicles, also known as “Rocky Moun-tain oysters.” While smoke was rising from a mountain across the highway Monday afternoon, co-owner Rodney Lincoln said he had been told the fires were moving away from the lodge and would not impact the festival. “There’s some smoke, but in terms of flames, compared to last night it’s pretty mellow in my estimation,” Lincoln said. “A little smoke isn’t going to hurt us. It’s not going to deter people from coming.” Two of the area fires were detected over the weekend and one of them, a 1,000-acre blaze east of Clinton, was believed to have been human-caused. Residents of about 40 homes were asked to leave that area Sunday night, while campers and residents of another 40 homes west of Philipsburg were asked to evacuate in advance of a 1,000-acre fire there, dubbed the Wyman 2 fire. About 40 outbuildings also were threatened by that blaze, and crews were placing protective fire wrapping around the structures Monday, said Nick Spang, fire information officer. Erratic winds were expected as a cold front moved through the area