MTPR

Seeley Lake Montana

Widlfire smoke fills the sky in Seeley Lake August  7, 2017.
Eric Whitney

This summer, Missoula County had its worst wildfire smoke season on record. It’s unclear how exactly that impacted the health of county residents, both as the fires were burning and longer term, but researchers are starting to pull in some data.

Gravel mine, file photo.
(PD)

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on a proposed gravel pit four miles east of Seeley Lake.

Deer Creek Excavating, LLC, has applied to mine gravel on a 26.5-acre site known as the Cottonwood Pit. A similar application from a different company to mine the Cottonwood Pit drew opposition from locals at the county level last year.

The Rice Ridge Fire seen from Seeley Lake on August 1, 2017.
Eric Whitney

The town of Seeley Lake is launching some First Friday events to try to bounce back after a difficult fire season. The first is this Friday night.

Chris Stout, Seeley Lake’s school superintendent, helped organize the event. He said, "The more we can offer in town, and the more that’s going on in it,  just benefits us because rural communities in Montana are sort of drying up.”

Montana Wildfire Roundup For September 1, 2017

Sep 1, 2017
Type 1 Chinook helicopter with bucket on Nelson Creek Fire
Inciweb

Governor Steve Bullock this afternoon declared a state of disaster in Montana due to wildfires. Two previous executive orders declared states of emergency. This disaster declaration allows Governor Bullock to mobilize additional state resources and more Montana National Guard troops to combat the fires. It is in conjunction with a directive to the Montana Department of Transportation that temporarily suspends certain regulations in order to make it easier to transport heavy firefighting equipment.

Extremely unhealthy air has prompted the health department to recommend that people should leave Seeley Lake, or at least try to sleep somewhere else. This view of the smoke from Seeley Lake was captured on the afternoon of August 10, 2017.
Eric Whitney

Classes for Seeley Swan High School in Seeley Lake are being relocated about 20 miles away to The Resort at Paws up next week. Seeley Swan High is currently part of a mandatory evacuation zone for the Rice Ridge Fire.

MTPR’s Eric Whitney spoke with Missoula County Public Schools Communications Director Hatton Littman earlier today.

Pages