POLSON — Lake County Sheriff Don Bell says most residents who were evacuated when the Boulder 2700 Fire erupted over the weekend have been able to have some access to their properties. But access remains controlled while firefighters work to improve safety.
Highway 35 remains shut down to all but local traffic just east of Polson. Deputies are checking identification and making sure only locals, or their contractors helping them, are accessing the fire closure area.
The highway from mile marker 6 to 13 remains closed entirely. That's been confusing for tourists, who are forced to turn around as GPS systems show the route up the east side of Flathead Lake as the shortest way to reach Glacier National Park.
Sheriff Bell told Governor Greg Gianforte during Thursday's briefing that 450 of the 500 people evacuated have been allowed back, with the exception of people who live in areas still deemed dangerous. But everyone remains on Stage Two alert for another evacuation.
"There still are people that are displaced because of that," Bell explained. "We've got that many back in but they're on pre-evacuation so if the fire does a run we can get them back out of there."
Finley Point/Yellow Bay Fire Department announced Thursday they'll be using their station's alert siren with three blasts to notify people of another evacuation. Residents are also being encouraged to sign up for Lake County's Hyper-Reach emergency alerts. Here's where to sign up.
Be Prepared: Evacuation TipsHelpful tips and suggestions should you need to evacuate due to a wildfire
Wildland Fire Terminology 101Search common terms used in wildland firefighting and reporting to better understand what is happening during a fire.
Fire Restrictions in MontanaView a map showing current fire restrictions in across Montana.
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