Sheriff’s deputies were going door-to-door in an area near Seeley Lake today, August 1, issuing evacuation warnings because of the Rice Ridge Fire.

"That area is for both sides of Highway 83 off Rice Ridge Road and immediately south of Cottonwood Lakes Road east of Highway 83 and it also extends to the Double Arrow Ranch area," said Missoula County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Brenda Bassett. "People in those areas may be getting a deputy or a member of Seeley Lake Search and Rescue to their door.

These were just evacuation warnings, not an order to evacuate, but Bassett says now is the time to prepare for the worst.

"They just really need to start taking every precaution: to pre-plan and maybe even pre-evacuate if they feel that they need to. We want to emphasize thinking of options for your livestock. If you have a family member with a disability, start pre-planning now and we definitely recommend people to enroll in Smart 911."

Bassett says that if an evacuation order comes, they may not have time to go door-to-door for the evacuation order and may use an alternating siren on a slow moving vehicle to alert the public to get out.