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

New Evacuation Order for Florence Area, August 17, 2017

Smoke from the Lolo Peak Fire seen from Missoula on the evening of August 16, 2017.
Anne Hosler
Smoke from the Lolo Peak Fire seen from Missoula on the evening of August 16, 2017.

This afternoon, the evacuation order area for the Lolo Peak Fire has been extended south in the Highway 93 corridor. The area currently under evacuation order is on the west side of Highway 93, and now extends South from mile marker 78 all the way to Tie Chute Lane.

There is also a new evacuation warning area from Tie Chute Lane south to Bass Creek Road.

A warning means that there is a probability of the need to evacuate. Residents should make arrangements to move property and livestock.  People with special health needs or other concerns should relocate during the warning.

These evacuation orders and warning areas are on the authority of the Missoula and Ravalli County Sheriff’s offices.

Approximate evacuation areas for the Lolo Peak Fire as of 5:00 p.m., 08/17/17.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton said that approximately 140 residences are under the evacuation order, and there are nearly 490 homes under the warning.

The Ravalli County Emergency Operations Center will be staffed beginning at 3 p.m. today, and can be reached at 375-6650. The Fire Information number is 406-272-5433 or on InciWeb.  There will be a Community Meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at the Florence Baptist Church on Old Hwy 93 in Florence.

Conditions are changing quickly, we'll update this post as new information comes in. We also recommend checking the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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