UPDATE (3:07 p.m.) – There are several new fires burning in the Eureka area including the Gibralter Ridge Fire that was started by lightning late Monday night.
The blaze, which quickly grew to 500 acres overnight exploded to 1,400 acres by early Tuesday afternoon. The fire threatens structures and residences to the east of Eureka.
Residents in the Sherman Creek, Griffith Creek Therriault Creek Road, Stevens Creek and Graves Creek area have been told to evacuate immediately.
Pre-evacuation notices are in effect starting at Sinclair Creek and West Lane South to Glenn Lake Road. South of Glenn Lake Road starting at the South end of the lake to Sherman Creek Area.
The Ten Lakes Scenic area has been closed and Graves Creek is closed at the Therriault Pass intersection. Flathead County is in the process of closing the eastern boundaries of Ten Lakes area at the TuChuck Campground on Lewis Creek.
A shelter has been set up for evacuees of the Gibralter Ridge fire at the Church of God, 1295 2nd Ave East in Eureka.
Livestock can be taken to the fairgrounds in Eureka and smaller animals and pets can be taken to the Tobacco Valley Animal Shelter. The Flathead Spay & Neuter in Columbia Falls is also offering to take in cats.
The Eureka Town Hall will be the location for any donation of food for the crews working the fire. A trailer is located at the back of the Town Hall for donation items. A free meal is being offered from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Eureka Senior Citizens Center.
A firefighter was hurt falling off a truck and was taken to the hospital in Whitefish for treatment. Officials told MTN that the firefighter was in stable condition as of early Tuesday afternoon.
There are 20 people assigned to battle the blaze. A Type II Incident Management Team has been called in to manage the Gibralter Ridge Fire.
EUREKA – A new wildfire that authorities say was sparked by a passing storm in Lincoln County has prompted evacuations.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office reported the fire is burning in a canyon in the Eureka area above Hood Drive.
The fire has burned more than 500 acres of timber along Gibraltar Ridge east of Eureka and at least 30 homes were evacuated at about 2 a.m. Tuesday according to the American Red Cross.
Evacuation notices were issued early Tuesday for residents along Sherman Creek Road, Griffith Creek Road, Therriault Creek Road, North Stevens Creek Road and Graves Creek Road east of Eureka.
Pre-evacuation notices will be served by authorities to residents in the East Glenn Lake Road and to Stevens Road areas.
The American Red Cross has opened a shelter for evacuees at the First Church of God at 1295 2nd Ave. E. in Eureka. All evacuees are welcome at the shelter, and all Red Cross services are free.
There is also a dog park near the shelter for clients’ dogs. the shelter staff has a list of people volunteering to help haul livestock to safe areas if evacuees need that assistance.
The local fairgrounds is also open to accommodate animals.
A fire information center and camp are currently being set-up, according to the Sheriff’s Office.