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Mandatory evacuations ordered in Seeley Lake, high school classe - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Mandatory evacuations ordered in Seeley Lake, high school classes canceled

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SEELEY LAKE - Hundreds of homes are under mandatory evacuation orders in Seeley Lake due to the Rice Ridge Fire.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office reports the following areas are now under an evacuation order:

Northern Boundary

  • The junction of Highway 83 and Cedar Lane northeast to Morrell Creek Road. The boundary continues along the Cottonwood Lakes Road east to the Forest Boundary.

Eastern Boundary

  • Cottonwood Lakes Road at the Forest Boundary and south to the northern boundary of the Double Arrow.

Southern Boundary

  • The junction of Highway 83 and Whitetail Drive east to the junction of Whitetail Drive and Dolly Varden. The southern boundary continues east to include the area north of the Commons Area and eastward to the intersection of Montana Drive and South Canyon Drive, continuing southeast along Montana Drive to the junction with Glacier Drive and then south to the junction with Double Arrow Road including Pyramid Loop and all areas in the Double Arrow Subdivision to the south and east.

Western Boundary

  • The junction of Highway 83 and Cedar Lane south to the junction of Highway 83 and Whitetail Drive.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office reports the following areas are now under (a new) evacuation warning:

  • The Missoula County Sheriff has also extended the evacuation warning to include the area from the south Boyscout Road north to Tamaracks Resort, west of Highway 83 and east of the lake.

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 has 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. 

Missoula County Public Schools has announced that Tuesday classes at Seeley Swan High School have been canceled. There's no word yet on when classes will resume.


(first report)

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 has 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.

For those in the area who have not yet received the order to evacuate, the American Red Cross has the following advice:

  • Download our free Wildfire app.
  • Gather your family or household members and delegate responsibilities.
  • Assemble an emergency kit to take with you when you evacuate. Click here for a detailed list of items to include.
  • Prepare an information kit with important documents like medical, banking, and insurance records.
  • Save a list of emergency numbers on every cellphone.
  • Plan ahead for your pets and livestock. Ask local officials where you can bring them.
  • Identify a place to meet in case you are separated.
  • Plan and practice several evacuation routes from your neighborhood.

If an evacuation is imminent:

  • Tune in to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
  • Limit exposure to smoke and dust. Keep indoor air clean by closing (but not locking) windows and doors. Close curtains, shutters, and blinds. Use the recycle mode on your air conditioner.
  • Turn on exterior lights.
  • Remove flammable items from decks and porches.
  • Open gates for animals that cannot be evacuated.
  • Connect a hose to an outside spigot, mark any water sources on your property, and leave a ladder for firefighters.
  • Put your emergency kit in your car. Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape, with windows closed and keys in the ignition.
  • Put your best driver at the wheel. Turn on lights, drive slowly and watch out for emergency vehicles.

Evacuate as soon as the order is given. Don’t delay.                                                    

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