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

Elmo Fire evacuations expand

Map showing in the perimeter of the Elmo 2 fire burning west of Flathead lake near Dayton, MT.
The perimeter of the Elmo 2 fire burning west of Flathead lake near Dayton, MT as of 6:30 a.m., August 3.

Elmo Fire closures and evacuation notices

Updated at 2:30 p.m., August 06, 2022

  • Pre-evacuation warnings have been lifted for residents east of Hwy 93 between Chief Cliff Lane and Lake Mary Ronan Road (Hwy 352).

  • Evacuation orders have been lifted for residents of Chief Cliff Lane and Black Lake Road. These areas will remain under pre-evacuation warning.

  • Evacuation orders have been lifted for residents of Big Meadows Road and Dayton Creek Road. These areas will remain under pre-evacuation warning.

  • Evacuation orders are still in effect for residents west of the intersection of Lake Mary Ronan Road (Hwy 352) and Dayton Creek Road.

  • Lake Mary Ronan Road (Hwy 352) is closed at the Dayton Creek Road intersection.

  • Arterial roads off Lake Mary Ronan Road (Hwy 352) are open to residents only. Speed limits will be reduced to 35 mph on Lake Mary Ronan Road (Hwy 352).

  • The Proctor dump will open to Lake County residents at 12:00 to 7:00 PM on Saturday, August 6, 2022.

  • Closures remain in effect for the Boat Ramp at the Elmo Fishing Access site and Lake Mary Ronan State Park.

Red Cross evacuation centers have been established at Somers Middle School and Polson High School. Call 1-800-272-6668 for information.

More fire info


Gusting winds continue to fan the Elmo fire burning more than 16,000 acres west of Flathead Lake.

The Lake County Sheriff at 6:30 p.m. August 2 expanded the evacuation order to include all residents north and south of Lake Mary Ronan Road and all residents who live along Lake Mary Ronan. All prior evacuation orders are still in effect.

Pre-evacuation warnings are in effect for residents east and south of Highway 93 between the intersections of Highway 28 and Lake Mary Ronan Road.

Red Cross Evacuation Centers are located at Polson High School and Somers Middle School.

A public meeting is set for August 3 at 7 p.m. at the Elmo Pow Wow Grounds.

Much of Montana remains under threat of extreme fire behavior today. The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for most of central and northern Montana today through 9 p.m. tonight.

With humidity as low as 11% and wind gusts reaching up to 45 miles per hour, the service says new fire starts would be hard to contain. Experts say residents should not drive on dry grass or shrubs, should mow lawns before 10 a.m. and should ensure tow chains don’t drag on the ground in order to prevent fire starts.

"Extreme" is the highest fire danger level possible. When fire danger is “Extreme” fires start quickly, spread furiously, and burn intensely.  All fires are potentially serious and development into high intensity burning will be faster and occur even on smaller fires. Direct attack is rarely possible and may be dangerous except immediately after ignition.

Just 6 days after going to “Very High” fire danger, the Bitterroot National Forest announced Monday that it is raising its fire danger level to “Extreme” due to the continued hot weather and dry fuel conditions.

And on top of all that:

Fireline probes the causes and consequences of the increasingly devastating wildfires burning in the U.S. It taps into the experience of firefighters, tribal land managers, climate scientists and more to understand how we got here and where we're going.