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Montana Fire News
Seeley Fire Prompts Evacuation Order
HELENA AP) – Ground crews Saturday were pulled off a new wildfire in western Montana for safety and officials issued an evacuation order for homes in the area of Seeley and Placid lakes, popular vacation getaways northeast of Missoula.The evacuation did not apply to the community of Seeley Lake, a tourist spot with restaurants, lodging and other services."This fire is in the hands of God right now," Gov. Brian Schweitzer said after flying over the blaze in a helicopter Saturday.Fire information officer Jamie Kirby said the blaze that started Friday afternoon was estimated at 5,000 acres Saturday afternoon and had been fanned by winds of 25-30 mph. There were no reports of homes burning, she said.Possibly 200 homes were covered by the evacuation order, according to Kirby, who said she was uncertain about their distance from the fire. They are a mix of year-round and vacation dwellings.Schweitzer urged people to leave without delay."Open the gates, turn the livestock loose, take your pets, shut off the propane at the tank, shut off the electricity and get out," said the governor, who described the fire as burning in "some of the heaviest timber in Montana."The Missoula County Sheriff's Department issued the evacuation order.
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