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New evacuations ordered on western Montana wildfires

MISSOULA – Law enforcement officers have ordered new evacuations near two western Montana wildfires.

The Missoula County sheriff’s office evacuated a portion of the community of Seeley Lake on Monday after erratic winds blew the Rice Ridge Fire to within a half-mile of some structures.

Fire information officer Chad Mullman says an unforeseen shift in the winds led to the evacuations. School was canceled on Tuesday.

The Rice Ridge Fire has burned 48 square miles since it started in mid-July. The air quality in Seeley Lake ranged from very unhealthy to hazardous for most of Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, the Ravalli County sheriff’s office evacuated some residents south of Darby due to a fire that started Monday and was burning on private property within a mile of the nearest structure.


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