NewsWildfire Watch


Colt Fire grows to 4,390 acres, evacuation orders, warnings in place

Colt Fire
Posted at 9:09 AM, Jul 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-26 10:55:37-04

SEELEY LAKE - A wildfire burning outside of the town of Seeley Lake has grown with evacuation orders and warnings remaining in effect.

The Colt Fire has grown from 3,000 acres to 4,390 acres as of Tuesday morning an remains 0% contained.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office has issued an evacuation order for the following locations:

  • Highway 83 between mile marker 31 (Beaver Creek Road) south to mile marker 27, including residences in Rovero Flats.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office has issued an evacuation warning for the following locations:

  • Residences on Beaver Creek Road (near the summit).
  • Residences on the north and south ends of Lake Inez
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The American Red Cross has a shelter for evacuees at the Blackfoot Community Bible Church in Ovando on standby in case it is needed.

The Incident Management Team will host a public meeting to discuss the Colt Fire on Tuesday, July 25, beginning at 7 p.m. at Seeley Lake Elementary School. The meeting will also be live-streamed through the Colt Fire Facebook page.

A second meeting will take place on Wednesday, also beginning at 7 p.m., at the Condon Community Center.

The Lolo and Flathead national forests have closed several forest roads, areas, and campgrounds near the fire area for public safety. The list of current closures includes:

  • Forest Road 906 (closed at Highway 83)
  • Rainy Lake Campground access road 4357 (closed at Highway 83)
  • Rainy Lake Campground -Alva Lake Campground access road (closed by gate at Highway 83)
  • Alva Lake Campground -Lakeside Campground access road (closed by gate at Highway 83)
  • Lakeside Campground -Forest Road 646 (closed at the junction of FSR 552; FSR 4354; Forest Road 552 (beyond the turn-off to west side Lake Inez access)
  • Forest Road 5507 and 463 closed beyond the West Side snowmobile trailhead (these roads access the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Marshall Wildlife Management Area and Lake Marshall)
  • Temporarily closing the Forest System Road loops of the Clearwater (FSR 4370 and 4353) and Richmond (FSR 667 and 720)

Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks has issued a temporary closure on a portion of the Marshall Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located northwest of the town of Seeley Lake. The closure comes at the recommendation of the Colt Fire incident management team in the interest of public and firefighter safety. The closure impacts approximately 7,500 acres of the 25,000-acre WMA.
The Colt Fire was sparked by lightning on Monday, July 17, and was first detected the following morning.

Drivers are asked not to stop along Highway 83 near the fire due to nearby fire activity and an increase in traffic.