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

Seeley Lake Schools, Post Office Closed Due To Fires

Rice Ridge Fire activity in steep terrain, August 19, 2017.
Rice Ridge Fire activity in steep terrain.

Yesterday evening two new evacuation orders were issued for most of the east and south side of the town of Seeley Lake, affecting more than 500 homes.

Sara Rouse, an information officer for the Rice Ridge Fire says last night, the fire did not burn any homes.

"As of today, there are no structures that have been lost," Rouse says.

The fire grew just under 3,000 acres in the last 24 hours. It's now at 30,662 acres

Changes in the wind direction Monday caused the fire to spread toward the south, Rouse says.

As for today and tomorrow?

"It will be similar," Rouse says. We'll have similar weather, hot and dry conditions will continue through today, and and we'll be expecting similar winds. At this point, it's probably expected to stay similar for the next few days."

Just before noon today Seeley Swan High School announced that school is now cancelled until next Tuesday, September 5. An earlier notice said classes were cancelled for just a day, but now Seeley Swan High School will be closed until next Tuesday, Sept. 5.

The Seeley Lake Post Office is also closed until further notice. People can pick up their mail at the post office in Milltown starting today, and are asked to bring a photo ID to do so.

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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