Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

Evacuation Warnings and Fire Restrictions Lifted


September 21, 2017

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Snow was visible in the mountains behind the Rice Ridge Fire Camp Friday, Sept. 15.

SEELEY LAKE - The cooler temperatures and moisture in the form of rain and snow were welcomed sights this past week. With the change in weather, fire managers and law enforcement lifted all evacuation warnings for for the Rice Ridge Fire around 6 p.m. Sept. 18. Effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, Stage I and Stage II fire restrictions were rescinded on federal, state and tribal lands. Private lands in Missoula and surrounding counties remain in restrictions until County Commissions issue proclamations rescinding restrictions.

The majority of Seeley Lake has been under an evacuation warning since Aug. 2. The announcement that the evacuation warning had been lifted at the community meeting Monday, Sept. 18 was met with unrestrained applause and sighs of relief. Many commented they can start getting back to "normal" again.

Widespread precipitation has lowered the fire danger to MODERATE and has provided much needed relief for firefighters. More precipitation is on its way, as firefighting efforts give way to repairing fire lines and stabilizing burned areas to avoid problems associated with runoff.

The Rice Ridge Fire received variable precipitation measuring as much as 0.25 inch to less than a 0.1 inch on the southern end of the fire as of Monday night.

The Liberty Fire saw significantly more precipitation. As of Wednesday, Sept. 20, the management will be turned back to the local management agencies.

Most counties will continue to enforce burn bans on private property until weather conditions provide more security against the chance of burning debris piles escaping. Monitor the status of burn bans statewide at:

With restrictions lifted on public lands, campfires are allowed and internal combustion engines can be used without restrictions. As a matter of wildfire prevention, please keep the following in mind:

• Never leave a fire unattended until it is cold to the touch.

• When debris burning by permit becomes allowed in your county, ensure you have a valid burn permit and that it is activated at the time of ignition.

• Campfires are not allowed on open space and conservation land located within the city limits of Missoula. 

For questions regarding burning by permit in the Missoula, Powell, and Ravalli Counties, go to For other counties, call your local fire management agencies that issue permits. It is your responsibility to 'know before you burn.'



Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 06/03/2019 18:03