ESSEX – The Paola Ridge fire burning on the Flathead National Forest near Essex has scorched 578 acres and an evacuation warning for some residents remains in place.
The evacuation warning runs from mile marker 176 to mile marker 179 on US Highway 2 and includes residences on Branch Road, Bugling Elk Trail, Dickey Creek Loop, Eagle Haunts Run and Lazy Moose Trail.
A community meeting to discuss the blaze will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Izaak Walton Inn Pavilion in Essex. Fire personnel will present updated information and management plans for fire impacting the local area.
Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest, except the Great Bear and the Bob Marshall Wilderness areas, have implemented Stage II Fire Restrictions.
No campfires are permitted. Smoking is also prohibited except within an enclosed building, vehicle, developed recreation area, or barren area three feet in diameter. Propane stoves that have an on/off switch are permitted.
The Paola Ridge fire was sparked by lightning on August 11th.