Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

Rice Ridge Fire Monday Morning Update


August 10, 2017

Chelsea Cahoon

Photo taken Aug. 1 looking north towards Seeley Lake.

Rice Ridge Morning Update: A community meeting will be held tonight, Aug. 14 at 6pm at the Seeley Lake Elementary School. Photos taken Aug. 1 by Chelsea Cahoon.

The Rice Ridge Fire showed no increase in acreage due to No IR Flight. Containment is still 10%. There are 548 firefighters assigned to the fire: 10 crews, 31 engines, 6 helicopters, 2 dozers, 15 water tenders and overhead personnel.

YESTERDAY: Fire growth was limited across the fire with the exception of the Swamp Creek drainage, where the perimeter moved across the drainage and up the ridge to the southeast. Favorable winds and increasing relative humidity limited spread as the fire approached the ridge. Line construction continued along the northwest portion of the fire with heavy equipment. Crews continue to install hoselays and perform brush clean up along the west and southeast sides of the fire. Fuels reduction work also continued along the northeast boundary of the Double Arrow Ranch.

TODAY: Firefighters will be utilizing heavy equipment on the northwest end of the fire, working to connect the indirect line along the western portion of the fire. Crews will be testing hoselays and pumps along the southeast indirect line coming down from the Morrell Mountain Lookout. Given the favorable weather conditions and work completed in preparation, fire managers are planning to use strategic firing operations in the coming days to secure the uncontrolled fire edge. Fuels reduction will continue on public land just north of the Double Arrow Ranch.

Today will be partly cloudy with temperatures in the upper 70's. Winds will moderate throughout the day. Decreased fire activity is forecasted for most of the fire area with lower temperatures and higher relative humidity.

Fire information booths will be staffed at the Valley Market and Rovero's Hardware Store on Highway 83 from 11am to 4pm.

In the event of an evacuation, the American Red Cross will open a shelter. It is located at the Potomac Community Center, 29827 Potomac Rd., in Potomac. The shelter is on standby, anyone seeking to pre-evacuate that requires assistance or sheltering may call the Red Cross of Montana at 1-800-272-6668. Evacuees are urged to call before leaving for the shelter, as cell phone service is limited at the shelter. More info at

ADVISORIES: As a reminder, the evacuation warning issued within areas of Seeley Lake (including Double Arrow Ranch), remains in effect and residents are urged to be prepared. Residents adjacent to these areas should remain vigilant.

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

Chelsea Cahoon

Photo taken Aug. 1.

Crews, engines, and heavy equipment use public roads traveling to and from their daily assignments. Residents are urged to slow down and be aware while driving through the area to ensure everyone's safety.

CLOSURES: A closure order is still in effect for the areas surrounding the Rice Ridge Fire. A map and copies of the official closure orders are available on Inciweb. Seeley Lake, the body of water, is still closed to all recreation activities due to aircraft scooping water and will be in effect through the weekend.

The temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire has been extended to the south and east. This restriction applies to drones as well. For more information:


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