Seeley Swan Pathfinder -


Rice Ridge Fire Monday Morning Update


August 3, 2017

Mark Kues

The Seeley Structure Group staged at the Seeley-Swan High School this morning. There are 13 engines and tenders going to be out patrolling around the Seeley Lake Airport and north end of Double Arrow Ranch today.

Rice Ridge Fire Morning Update: he Rice Ridge Fire is 8,209 acres, 10% contained and has 454 personnel on it. This includes 9 crews, 22 engines, 2 helicopters, 4 dozers, 7 water tenders and overhead personnel.

SUMMARY: Last night’s community meeting was attended by approximately 250 people. It can be viewed as a video on the Lolo National Forest Facebook page for those who missed it. The next public meeting will be held on Thursday, Aug. 10 at 6pm at the Seeley Lake Elementary School.

The waters of Seeley Lake remain closed, but all businesses in town are open and Highway 83 is open.

Sunday’s moderate weather provided for low fire activity for the majority of the day. Fire crews on the west side of the fire improved fire line, installed additional hose lays and sprinklers and scouted new lines parallel to Highway 83 yesterday. On the southeast side of the fire crews started to build control line to the east along Cottonwood Lake Road. Crews were challenged by thick vegetation and terrain while building control line along the FS 4353 Road on the southwest side of the fire.

Scooper planes worked hot areas on the north side of the fire in the later afternoon. Helicopters worked the south end of the fire.

Crews are continuing structure protection preparation and assessments in Seeley Lake along the Highway 83 and Cottonwood Canyon.

The evacuation warning issued to residents is still in effect on both sides of Highway 83 south of Rice Ridge Road to Morrell Creek and south of Cottonwood Lakes Road east of Highway 83, including the town of Seeley Lake and Double Arrow Ranch. No actual evacuations have been ordered.

A fire information booth will be staffed at Cory's Valley Market on Highway 83 from 10am to 6pm.

Residents of the area should sign up for Smart911 at to ensure they receive any emergency messages about potential evacuations.

The American Red Cross has opened a shelter for those who wish to pre-evacuate. It is located at the Potomac Community Center, 29827 Potomac Rd., in Potomac. All evacuees are welcome and there is no cost to stay in the shelter. More info at

TODAY'S PLAN: Heavy equipment will be working on fire lines on the north end of the fire. The south end of the fire will be continuing to build new control lines to the east along the Cottonwood Lake Road. Along FS Road 4353 crews will begin using fire in limited areas to strengthen mechanical fire lines.

WEATHER: Temps in the upper 80s today and relative humidity in the teens. Light winds today with high clouds coming in later in the afternoon. There will be an increase in fire activity today due to the decreased humidity.


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