BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Fire crews were shoring up defenses around a Montana ski hill on Thursday, taking advantage of a lull in winds that had pushed a large wildfire to within a half-mile of the resort's summit.

The nearly 15-square-mile fire burning through a canyon in the Beartooth Mountains near the town of Red Lodge has forced people to evacuate the ski hill and 90 nearby homes.

On Wednesday, fierce winds sent embers flying toward the ski area, lighting numerous small fires that prompted authorities to ask employees of the town's namesake resort to leave. The winds subsided Wednesday evening and Thursday.

The fire, 10 percent contained Thursday, was about six miles from Red Lodge, about 60 miles southwest of Billings. Residents of 200 homes aside from those already evacuated have been told to be ready to leave.