A wildfire burning outside of the town of Seeley Lake has grown from 1,000 acres to over 1,500 acres and evacuations remain in place.
Fire managers note the fire is actively burning and will continue to grow.
Ground crews are continuing to perform structure protection northeast of the blaze while an air attack will work to cool hotspots and slow the fire’s rate of spread.
The Missoula County Sheriff's Office has issued an Evacuation Order for residents along Highway 83, between mile markers 27 and 31 — between Rainy Lake to Summit Lake.
An Evacuation Warning is in place for residences between mile markers 25.5 and 27.
The American Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at the Blackfoot Community Bible Church in Ovando.
Fire managers report fire activity includes torching, spotting, and active consumption of heavy fuels.
Ground crews performed structure protection northeast of the fire on Friday while aviation resources continued suppression efforts by cooling hotspots and slowing the fire’s rate of spread.
Crews will work on clearing vegetation along the Colt and Beaver Creek Roads to improve fuel break areas.
A Complex Incident Management Team took over the fire which is burning 15 miles northwest of Seeley Lake at 6 a.m. on Sunday, July 23, 2023.
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 high fire activity, there is a large increase in traffic, including emergency response vehicles, large equipment, and law enforcement.