The Roaring Lion fire is now over 7,000 acres in size, following erratic winds Tuesday in the Bitterroot Valley.

There is a large evacuation area, where residents have been moved out of their homes because of possible growth of the fire toward them. Today, some of those residents want to go back in, often to gather possessions. However, the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office is maintaining a strict lockdown on the area today.

According to undersheriff Steve Holton, "What we really don't want is someone to have unfettered access to somebody else's property when nobody else is around."

Holton said the size of the Stage 2 evacuation zeon will be evaluated every 12 hours. Depending on the fire behavior, some area restrictions may be relaxed. But not today, Wednesday, August 3.

Hamilton Fire Chief Brad Mohn said that the firefighters managed to stop flames from taking any more homes during the windy conditions Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. He praised the cooperation of all the organizations involved in the Roaring Lion Fire. In the first days of the fire, 14 homes and 50 outbuildings were burned.