Jocko Canyon Residents evacuated for 1,300 plus acre fire near Arlee
There have been about twenty one residents evacuated. They are worried about the high winds that could make it spread to East Missoula. There is a lot going on right in the area. Three helicopters are pulling water from a local pond and local rivers. Evacuee Wanda LaCroix explains her circumstances as the blaze took off.
"Started eating dinner and then a police man came to our door and said it was a mandatory evacuation. So we grabbed our cats and our stuff and we left."
Lots of dead trees and dry grass has fire fuel written all over the area. Residents have told us they're worried. But they carry strong hearts knowing everything is being done to save their homes. Martin Suda a resident of the Jocko Canyon area has many questions on what’s next.
"I don't know yet. I am going to stay here. I brought some food out of my refrigerator. I'm going to stay here as long as I can. This is my home and I don't think I would be comfortable anywhere else."
The fire started at two in the afternoon. Residents say they rushed to turn on their sprinklers for some extra protection. Crews turned off the power and with that went the water. In order to meet fire safety codes.
"Going back home tonight would be nice. You know that our house is going to be safe and our neighbors are going to be safe," explained LaCroix.
Around six this evening campers at the lakes in the Jocko Canyon area and residents were forced to evacuate the area crews and engines from all around the valley have put forth effort to contain this wild fire. A type two crew is coming in tomorrow morning to take over and hopefully put a stop to the fires power.
"Horror..Grief....Very strong sense of place...and a very strong sense of what's important in life," stated Suda.
Hot ambers and ash rained down in the area all afternoon. Crews tell us high winds have made the job extra difficult for fire crews. Residents tell me the non-contained blaze brings fear and uncertainty, especially when they know their homes are right in the danger zone.