A new fire believed to be human-caused, located eight miles east of Polson, prompted evacuations this morning of residents along Montana Highway 35 on the east shore of Flathead Lake.
The evacuation orders were lifted later in the day, according to a Facebook update this evening from the Finley Point/Yellow Bay Fire Department.
“All access roads to the Boulder and Lake to Sky area are closed to non residents,” the post stated. “Fire suppression operations will be on going. Please avoid Skidoo Bay with all watercraft as air operations will also continue for at least the next couple of days.”
Initial reports from shortly before noon pegged the Boulder 2700 Fire at 150-200 acres, burning in a steep area with heavy downed fuels. Officials believe the fire was caused by humans and are investigating the incident.
Firefighters were expected to be challenged today “by extreme burning conditions,” with fire activity anticipated to increase throughout the day, according to a mid-day update from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) Division of Fire.
The Finley Point/Yellow Bay Fire Department said at 11:43 a.m. that several crews were attacking the fire, including aircraft on site, with plans “continue to work the fire from the air and on the ground.”
Officials earlier today announced the closure of the B-2700 road off Highway 35 and were asking motorists to avoid Highway 35 if possible.
The Highway 35 corridor along the east side of Flathead Lake, where the fire is located, is the heart of the region’s cherry-growing operations, which are now picking their harvests.
No updated information was immediately available on Saturday evening. The Beacon will provide updates on the fire as information becomes available.
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