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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

New Evacuation For Sunrise Fire Near Superior

Firefighters loading up onto a helicopter on the Sunrise Fire.
Rand Snyder/Inciweb
Firefighters loading up onto a helicopter on the Sunrise Fire.

The Mineral Country Sheriff issued a third evacuation order for areas around the Sunrise Fire late this morning. Residents were advised to immediately leave their homes.

It applies to residences in Quartz Creek. These homes now join an estimated 50 others in the Quartz Flats and Sunrise Creek areas, who were ordered to evacuate on Wednesday.

Tom Rhode, a public information officer with the firefighting team, says weather conditions worsened today and that they wanted to give residents plenty of time to leave.

"There’s eight residences down there," Rhode says. "It's back ... a fairly single-track road that’s difficult to get in. It takes about an hour-and-half to get to the last resident."

The Verde Creek area is under a stage two evacuation warning, meaning residents should be prepared to evacuate immediately.

Rhode says hot and dry conditions expected tomorrow could cause the fire to grow, threatening about 60 structures in its potential path.

"We did get some westerly winds pickup this afternoon," says Rhode. "We did some burning around the structures to remove some light fuel, so that  if the fire should move towards those structures, the fuel is gone."

The Rivulet area is in a stage one evacuation alert.

The Sunrise Fire is five percent contained. There will be a public meeting about the fire on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Lozeau Lodge Pavillion near Superior.

[Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly used the word "residents" instead of "residences" to refer to numbers being evacuated. The public information officer was only able to provide estimates of the number of homes being evacuated, not individuals. The public information officer's name has also been corrected from Tom Rhodes to Tom Rhode. We regret the error.]

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