THOMPSON FALLS — The Thorne Creek fire near Thompson Falls has now grown to 8,490 acres, up from the 5,627 acres reported on Monday.
An Evacuation Warning is in effect for residences from Cougar Creek south to the intersection of Blue Slide Road and River View Lane, on the west side of Blue Slide Road in Graves North and South, and on the northeast side of the power lines in Ashley.
An Evacuation Order remains in effect for residences from Cougar Creek south to the intersection of Blue Slide Road and River View Lane, on the east side of Blue Slide Road in Graves North and South, and on the east side of the power lines in Harlow.
The fire management team is coordinating with local agencies with the goal of allowing residents to return home as soon as it is safe to do so.
Crews are working with the local fire departments and Sanders County to identify and assess all residences and buildings in and near the fire area. So far, no structures have been lost to the fire.
Hoselays, pumps and sprinklers are in place in the Snyder and Liver Gulch areas.
A fire information line is available at (406) 274-9674 daily between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The Montana Red Cross is operating an evacuation center at the Thompson Falls Community Center.
Families also can request Red Cross services by calling 800-272-6668.
The Red Cross is offering tips to stay safe in the event of a wildfire:
- Gather your family or household members and delegate responsibilities.
- Assemble an emergency kit to take with you when you evacuate.
- Prepare an information kit with important documents like medical, banking and insurance records.
- Save a list of emergency numbers on every cellphone.
- Plan ahead for your pets and livestock. Ask local officials where you can bring them.
- Identify a place to meet in case you are separated.
- Plan and practice several evacuation routes from your neighborhood.
If an evacuation is imminent:
- Tune in to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
- Limit exposure to smoke and dust. Keep indoor air clean by closing (but not locking) windows and doors. Close curtains, shutters, and blinds. Use the recycle mode on your air conditioner.
- Turn on exterior lights.
- Remove flammable items from decks and porches.
- Open gates for animals that cannot be evacuated.
- Connect a hose to an outside spigot, mark any water sources on your property, and leave a ladder for firefighters.
- Put your emergency kit in your car. Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape, with windows closed and keys in the ignition.
- Put your best driver at the wheel. Turn on lights, drive slowly and watch out for emergency vehicles.
- Evacuate as soon as the order is given. Don’t delay.
There are currently 162 people assigned to the Thorne Creek fire that's burning 5 miles northeast of Thompson Falls.
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