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Evacuation warning issued for wildfire near Essex in western Montana

Posted at 11:17 PM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-16 01:17:31-04

KALISPELL – Some Essex area residents are now under an evacuation warning.

Flathead County Sheriff Curry has issued an evacuation warning for a small number of residents near Essex due to the possibility of the Paola Ridge fire moving closer to the community.

Sheriff deputies are directly notifying affected residents.

Authorities say the warning comes on the recommendation of the Incident Command and fire experts involved with the Paola Ridge Fire.

The evacuation warning runs from mile marker 176 to mile marker 179 on U.S. Highway 2 and includes residences on Branch Road, Bugling Elk Trail, Dickey Creek Loop, Eagle Haunts Run and Lazy Moose Trail.

U.S. Highway 2 remains open at this time but drivers are being asked to slow down in the area due to smoke and emergency vehicles in the area.

The Paola Ridge fire has burned an estimated 310 acres since being sparked by lightning over the weekend.