Red Cross opens shelter for Sheep Gap evacuees - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Red Cross opens shelter for Sheep Gap evacuees

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The Sheep Gap fire as seen from River Road West on 9.12.17. (photo credit: Rosalind Springer) The Sheep Gap fire as seen from River Road West on 9.12.17. (photo credit: Rosalind Springer)

PLAINS - The American Red Cross of Montana has opened a shelter Wednesday at the Plains Alliance Church located on West Fifth Street in Plains in response to Sheep Gap wildfire evacuations.

Authorities ordered mandatory evacuations on Swamp Creek Road from Four Corners to the intersection of the east and west fork of Swamp Creek on Tuesday. At this point, 24 homes are under the evacuation order. 

Pre-evacuation orders are also in effect from Four Corners to 132 Black Jack Road as well as on Mountain Road. 

The Sanders County Sheriff's Office ordered the evacuations as a result of the fire’s growth in the west fork of Swamp Creek.

The lightning sparked Sheep Gap fire is burning nine miles northwest of Plains and three miles southwest of Weeksville, just south of Highway 200. It is part of the Highway 200 Complex fire.

The Sheep Gap fire has burned 13,400 acres and is 40% contained.

From the American Red Cross:

For those in the area who have not yet received the order to evacuate, here is what you can do to prepare:

  • Download our free Wildfire app
  • Gather your family or household members and delegate responsibilities.
  • Assemble an emergency kit to take with you when you evacuate.
  • Prepare an information kit with important documents like medical, banking, and insurance records.
  • Save a list of emergency numbers on every cellphone.
  • Plan ahead for your pets and livestock. Ask local officials where you can bring them.
  • Identify a place to meet in case you are separated.
  • Plan and practice several evacuation routes from your neighborhood.

If an evacuation is imminent:

  • Tune in to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
  • Limit exposure to smoke and dust. Keep indoor air clean by closing (but not locking) windows and doors. Close curtains, shutters, and blinds. Use the recycle mode on your air conditioner.
  • Turn on exterior lights.
  • Remove flammable items from decks and porches.
  • Open gates for animals that cannot be evacuated.
  • Connect a hose to an outside spigot, mark any water sources on your property, and leave a ladder for firefighters.
  • Put your emergency kit in your car. Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape, with windows closed and keys in the ignition.
  • Put your best driver at the wheel. Turn on lights, drive slowly and watch out for emergency vehicles.

Evacuate as soon as the order is given. Don’t delay.                                                     

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