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Rice Ridge Fire

Unit Information

Lolo National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Missoula, MT 59804

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Rice Ridge Fire Update 8-27-17

Rice Ridge Fire Wildfire
News – 8/27/2017

Location: Approximately 1.4 miles northeast of Seeley Lake Montana:Lightning caused on July 24, 2017

Total Personnel
: 498 Fire Size and Containment: 22,427 acres and 16% contained

Thompson’s Central Montana Type II Incident Management Team is managing the Rice Ridge Fire

Resources Threatened: Approximately 1090 homes and buildings are threatened
Evacuations: The Missoula County Sheriff issued the following on 8/24/2017: An Evacuation ORDER for the area along Forest Service Rd 17507 that runs north into North Cottonwood Canyon was issued due to an immediate fire threat near the Rice Ridge Fire; two cabins have been affected. An Evacuation WARNING has been issued for residents in the Kozy Korner Meadows area. Eastern boundary starts in the 7500 block of Woodworth Road and runs west to Cottonwood Lakes Road, then north through the Rich Ranch. There are 15 homes in the warning area. This also includes the Black Canyon Ranch which is the only property located on the south side of Woodworth Road in the warning area. An evacuationWARNING issued within areas of Seeley Lake (including Double Arrow Ranch), remains in effect and residents are urged to be prepared. In the event of an evacuation order, residents will be directed to a new shelter site located at the UCC Church, 405 University Avenue, Missoula MT. Residents of the area should sign up for Smart911 at to ensure they receive messages about potential evacuations.

A closure order in effect forthe areas surrounding the Rice Ridge Fire includes the Lodge Pole and Monture Creek trails. A map and the official closure order is posted on Inciweb. Big Larch Campground is still closed but the boat launch is open. Recreationists are strongly urged to keep the area clear for ongoing helicopter bucket operations on Seeley Lake.

With lower relative humidity and higher temperatures, the fire continued to burn actively in the southeast where it pushed across the North Fork of Cottonwood Creek toward Dunham Point. Crews began to perform strategic burning operations in the area of Sawyers Creek and in the south end of Morrell Mountain. Water buckets from helicopters were used to cool areas of operational importance. Along the western flank of the fire, crews continued to establish, strengthen and monitor fire lines.

Planned Actions:
Crews will continue to monitor strategic burning operations on the north and south ends of the fire. Air resources will assist firefighting operations across the fire throughout the day as weather conditions allow. Structure assessment and preparation continues to the east and southeast. Firefighters are scouting and establishing additional control lines in front of the fire to the south and east. Crews are continuing to tie into existing roadways to establish and improve fire lines. Heavy equipment will be used to haul slash and stack material to thin out over grown areas around control lines.

Air Quality:
For current air quality information please visit Inciweb to view the most recent report.

Weather: Upper level high pressure will continue to strengthen over the incident resulting in warm and dry weather patterns. Humidity is expected to be near 10% and winds will average around 10 mph.

Cooperators: Seeley Lake FD, Missoula County Sherriff, Missoula County OEM, Montana DNRC, Montana Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Montana DOT, American Red Cross, Montana Highway Patrol.

Community Meeting:
There will be a community meeting at the Seeley Elementary School Monday (8/28) at 6:00 pm.

Important: Drones are prohibited in the fire vicinity & have the potential to shut down all air operations.


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