MISSOULA – The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office is issuing evacuation warnings for residents near the Lolo Peak Fire.

MCSO said the warning affects residents on the south side of Highway 12 from Elk Meadows Rd. to Fort Fizzle, including Mill Creek.

This is the first step in which MCSO deputies attempt to make in-person contact with affected population(s). The warning is to let affected citizens know that a situation is threatening their immediate area. Residents there should be taking steps to prepare for a short notice evacuation and/or self-evacuate as they see fit. With an evacuation warning, we emphasize pre-packing, preplanning (moving livestock, finding options for people with disabilities, etc.), and enrolling in SMART911.

It should be noted, this is NOT an “Evacuation Order.” Should there be an order, deputies will make every effort to recontact residents in the evacuation area. However, should time be limited the utilization of audible warnings (alternating siren tones on a slow moving vehicle) will be used to notify residents that they need to evacuate the area immediately for their own safety and the safety of emergency responders.

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The fire has grown almost 1,000 acres since Monday.

For further info call the Fire Information Line at 258-4636.

MCSO Spokesperson Brenda Bassett said 70 structures in the area are potentially threatened by the fire danger. She said that the MCSO’s Facebook page will be posting updates as needed.

For all Montana fire coverage follow our Fire Watch page.