Lolo Peak Fire forces evacuation orders, warnings

The Lolo Peak Fire plume seen from Florence The Lolo Peak Fire plume seen from Florence about 8:00 pm Wednesday

The Lolo Peak Fire plume seen from Florence about 8:00 pm Wednesday

An evacuation warning is now in effect for the area west of Highway 93 from the north side of Tie Chute Lane, north into Missoula County.

Deputy sheriffs are now letting people in the area know personally.

The notice comes just a couple hours after the Lolo Peak Fire forced an evacuation order for at least 300 more homes.

The new evacuation order for U.S. Highway 12 applies to people and homes from milepost 31.5 to 29.5 on both sides of Highway 12.

Red Cross officials say the previous shelter, at the Florence Carlton Community Church, is located in the area now under evacuation and will be closing.

An Evacuation Warning means residents should be prepared to evacuate.

Evacuees must check in at the trailer set up at the intersection of Highway 93 and Highway 12 at the weigh station south of Town Pump. All evacuees are welcome and there is no cost to stay in the shelter. The new shelter is at the University Congregational Church of Missoula, 405 University Ave.

The 400 homes that received mandatory evacuation notices around 10 p.m. Wednesday were in addition to 160 that were evacuated over the weekend, according to the Thursday morning update from the Lolo National Forest.

The Montana Department of Transportation is telling drivers not to stop or park along a stretch of Highway 93 from south of Lolo to north of Florence due to the proximity of the Lolo Pear fire. The shelter is located at 6700 Butler Creek Road in Missoula.

For animal sheltering, call the Animal Control at 541-7387 and leave a message.

There is a community information at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Florence Baptist Church, 5561 Old U.S. Highway 93 Fire officials will provide a briefing about evacuations, weather, fire behavior and operations of the Lolo Peak Fire.

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