Pre-evacuation ordered for Seeley Lake - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Pre-evacuation ordered for Seeley Lake

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Rice Ridge Fire Rice Ridge Fire

Pre-evacuation notices have been issued to those residents in the Seeley Lake area.  We spoke with resident Peggy McChesney who is no stranger to fires.  Her husband started as a smoke jumper and then became a fire manager.  When the Rice Ridge fire came close to their home McChesney told us they wasted no time, packed their things and left.

McChesney says, “We just decided it was worth it to pack up our stuff and move the camper to West Gate campground over on the Blackfoot.”

She tells us just because they have experience with fires doesn’t make the Rice Ridge fire any less threatening. 

"Pretty scary, we watched the fire start and were a little surprised that it grew as fast as it did,” McChesney explains.

As seven thousand acres burn, Catherine Koele with the Eastern Management team tells us why the Rice Ridge fir, in particular, is difficult to fight.

Koele says, “You know it's a hot bed for wildfires, unfortunately, there's a lot of dense down timber, rough terrain and it's a very fire prone area.”

With the air quality getting worse Koele has some advice for residents in smoky areas.

Koele explains, “The best thing to do is take it easy. We have a lot of smoke in the morning and usually, that will lift as the day goes. Stay indoors and use air conditioning and keep activity pretty low.”

Koele tells us Seeley Lake is temporarily closed off to any water recreation as large bodies of water are being used by scooper planes to bring water to the fire.

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