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Rice Ridge fire holds steady, evacuations remain in place - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Rice Ridge fire holds steady, evacuations remain in place

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SEELEY LAKE - The Rice Ridge fire near Seeley Lake has burned over 122,800 acres at last check, but update information was not available Saturday morning.

Missoula and Powell County evacuation orders and warnings remain in place with officials saying that 1,719 structures are threatened by the massive blaze. Fire officials note the number has jumped based on information from the Powell County Sheriff's Office.

The area is under a Red Flag Warning from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturday meaning that gusty winds are expected. 


The following areas are under a mandatory evacuation order:

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.

Powell County:

  • Monture Cabin area
  • All of the Coopers Lake area

The following areas are under a pre-evacuation warning:

  • The area from the south Boyscout Road north to Tamaracks Resort, west of Highway 83 and east of the lake 
  • The junction of Highway 83 and Cedar Lane south to the junction of Highway 83 and Whitetail Drive.
  • The Big Sky and Emerald Lake areas
  • All properties from the intersection of Woodworth Road and Highway 83, East to Skilly Drive
  • All properties north of Woodworth Road 
  • Both sides of Highway 83 N. from Tamarack Resort to Bear Grass, extending to Bear Grass Lane.
  • Loon Lane
  • Camp Creek.
  • Both sides of Boy Scout Road to the Fawn Creek intersection.
  • All other areas of Powell County north of Highway 200 between the Missoula County line the Lewis and Clark County line.

Evacuation shelters are available in Seeley Lake at Camp Paxson on Boyscout Road and at the Ovando Elementary School Gymnasium. A Red Cross shelter site is located at the UCC Church, 405 University Avenue, in Missoula. Anyone seeking shelter may call the Red Cross of Montana at 1-800-272-6668.

Staffed fire information is available in Seeley Lake at Cory’s Valley Market from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and at the Blackfoot Mercantile in Ovando from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Residents of the area should sign up for Smart911 at to ensure they receive messages about potential evacuations. Fire information can also be found by calling 258-INFO.

There are 801 people fighting the lightning sparked blaze.

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