MISSOULA, Mont. - Missoula County sheriff's deputies notified residents of mandatory evacuation orders in the Seeley Lake area due to the Rice Ridge Fire.
The evacuation order affects about 580 homes.
Officials at Monday's fire information meeting said the areas include:
- Morrell Creek Road north of Cougar Court including Laurel, Lynx, Chipmunk and Badger Court
- Northern portion of Black Bear Drive and all of Black Bear Court
- Airport Road from Tamarack east, including the Seeley Swan High School, Deerpark Drive, Eagle Drive, Shop Road, Frontier Drive, Highland Drive, Skyport Way, Eagle Port, Falcon Port, Gull Port, Canyon Drive, North Canyon Drive, South Canyon Drive, Canyon Court
- Sourdough Lane, Stagecoach Drive, Evergreen Drive, Moose Lane, Fawn Lane, Bobcat Lane, Summit Drive, Bitterroot Drive and the north end of Wolverine Drive and Elkhorn Road
- Township 17 N, Range 15 W, Section 36
- Township 17 N, Range 14 W, Section 31
- North portion of Seeley Lake airstrip, the gun range and nine DNRC-leased cabins
A Red Cross shelter for evacuees is open at University Congregational Church, 405 University Ave, in Missoula.
Missoula County Public Schools announced classes will be canceled Tuesday at Seeley Swan High School due to the evacuations.
An evacuation warning was extended Monday evening to include the area from South Boy Scout Road north to Tamaracks Resort, west of Highway 83 and east of the lake.
The previous evacuation warning included the Kozy Korner Meadows area from the 7500-block of Woodworth Road west to Cottonwood Lakes Road, then north through the Rich Ranch as well as the Black Canyon Ranch.
Residents under evacuation warning should be prepared to leave at a moment's notice.
Officials also closed all of Seeley Lake waters due to fire suppression efforts in the area. The closure is effective immediately.
Aircraft crews are dipping water from the lake to battle the nearby Rice Ridge Fire.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say the closure applies to boating, swimming, wading and fishing.
The closure will be in place as long as water is needed.
The Rice Ridge Fire started July 24 and is currently burning over 27,863 acres with 22 percent containment.
The Missoula County Sheriff's Office issued the following notice on its Facebook page:
The following areas have been put under an evacuation ORDER due to an immediate fire threat near the Rice Ridge Fire: Northern Boundary: The junction of Highway 83 and Cedar Lane northeast to Morrell Creek Road. The boundary continues along the Cottonwood Lakes Road east to the Forest Boundary. Eastern Boundary: Cottonwood Lakes Road at the Forest Boundary and south to the northern boundary of the Double Arrow. Southern Boundary: The junction of Highway 83 and Whitetail Drive east to the junction of Whitetail Drive and Dolly Varden. The southern boundary continues east to include the area north of the Commons Area and eastward to the intersection of Montana Drive and South Canyon Drive, continuing southeast along Montana Drive to the junction with Glacier Drive and then south to the junction with Double Arrow Road including Pyramid Loop and all areas in the Double Arrow Subdivision to the south and east. Western Boundary: The junction of Highway 83 and Cedar Lane south to the junction of Highway 83 and Whitetail Drive. The Missoula County Sheriff has extended the EVACUATION WARNING to include the area from the south Boyscout Road north to Tamaracks Resort, west of Highway 83 and east of the lake.