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Residents near Rice Ridge Fire ordered to evacuate - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Residents near Rice Ridge Fire ordered to evacuate

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The Rice Ridge fire is burning just northeast of Seeley Lake. (inciweb.org photo) The Rice Ridge fire is burning just northeast of Seeley Lake. (inciweb.org photo)

SEELEY LAKE - The Missoula County Sheriff has issued an evacuation order on Monday evening for residents near the Rice Ridge fire.

The following areas have been put under an evacuation order due to an immediate fire threat near the Rice Ridge Fire north of Seeley Lake:

  • Morrell Creek Drive north of Cougar Court including Laurel, Lynx, Chipmunk and Badger Court. The northern portion of Black Bear Drive and all of Black Bear Court. Airport Road from Tamarack east including Seeley Swan High School, Deer Park Drive, Eagle Drive, Shop Road, Frontier Drive, Highland Drive, Sky Port Way, Falcon Port, Canyon Drive, North Canyon Drive, South Canyon Drive, and Canyon Court. The area also includes Sourdough Lane, Stagecoach Drive, Evergreen Drive, Moose Lane, Fawn Lane, Bobcat Lane, Summit Drive, Bitterroot Drive, and the northern end of Wolverine Drive and Elkhorn Road.
  • T17N R15W Section 36 and T17N R14W Section 31; Section 36 is Montana DNRC land and includes the north portion of the Seeley Lake Airstrip, the Gun Range and 9 DNRC leased cabins, only one of which is a primary residence. 

Authorities report that approximately 580 homes are covered by the latest order. The Rice Ridge fire has now grown to over 27,800 acres and is 22% contained.

An evacuation order on Thursday along Forest Service road 17507, which runs north into North Cottonwood Canyon, remains in effect.

An evacuation warning been issued for residents in the Kozy Korner Meadows area beginning in the 7500 block of Woodworth Road and running west to Cottonwood Lakes Road, then north through the Rich Ranch also is still in effect. There are 15 homes in the warning area.

Residents on the east side of Highway 83, south of Rice Ridge Road to -- and including the Double Arrow subdivision -- also still remain under an evacuation warning.

Seeley Lake residents are urged to sign up for Smart911 to ensure they receive any emergency messages about potential evacuations. Fire information booths are being staffed at the Valley Market and Rovero’s Hardware Store on Highway 83 in Seeley Lake from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The American Red Cross has a shelter in Missoula, where all evacuees are welcome. That is located at the University Congregational Church. 

There are 535 people assigned to battle the lightning sparked blaze. 

Earlier Monday, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks closed all of Seeley Lake waters for public safety while crews use the lake water to fight the Rice Ridge Fire. The closure applies to all recreation, such as boating, swimming, wading and fishing, so that aircraft crews can safely operate as they dip water from the lake.

-- New evacuation information from Inciweb.

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