Two Homes Burned Along With Multiple Outbuildings – Lolo Peak Evacuations Pass 1,100 Homes
UPDATE - From the Missoula County Sheriff's Office..
Two residences in the upper Folsom Rd. area were burned in the Lolo Peak Fire overnight. The homes were a total loss. Multiple outbuildings in the area also burned in the fire. The two affected homeowners, who had evacuated ahead of the fire, have been notified of the structure loss.
Road closure: Travel on OLD Highway 93 at Rowan Rd. to Long Avenue has been closed to the public for fire operations. Law enforcement officers are patrolling ALL restricted areas. If you are caught trespassing into a closed area, you can be stopped and criminal charges will be filed.
The Lolo Peak Fire mushroomed to nearly 19,000 acres from Thursday night into Friday, and the number of homes evacuated is approaching 1,100.
Missoula County Sheriff's Captain Bill Burt and his team were assessing the status of the structures that had been damaged by the fire, but also speaking with several individuals who asked when they could return their homes.
"There's a number of people who complied with the evacuation and we greatly appreciate that," Burt said. "It frees up the roads for the fire crews which are desperately needed. I know it looks like the fire may have left that area behind Trader Brothers, but there's still a lot of active fire up there. A lot of folks are asking about when they can return to their homes, and we just don't have the answer to that right now. We sympathize that many people want to get back in their homes and we will try to do that as quickly as possible, but we have to get through the fire suppression efforts first."
Burt said the number of evacuated families is virtually unprecedented.
"I know...between the Highway 12 corridor and the Highway 93 corridor, it was in excess of 1,100 homes," he said. "I was talking with Adriane Beck with OEM (Office of Emergency Management) and she mentioned that she thought this was the largest Missoula County Evacuation that we've had, but I haven't actually looked at those numbers."
Burt encourages evacuated homeowners to visit the Forest Service Fire Information trailer at the junction of Highway 93 South and U.S. Highway 12 in Lolo. He also promoted the use of the Smart 9-1-1 system for receiving accurate information.