ELMO - Additional growth has been seen at the Elmo Fire which has forced evacuations, closed roads and destroyed structures.
Newsy's Maritsa Georgiou reported Wednesday morning that an infrared flight shows the blaze has grown by another 2,201 acres and now stands at 18,427 burned.
The blaze is now 16% contained.
Evacuations were expanded along Ronan Creek Tuesday, with Lake County Sheriff's deputies and the Montana Highway Patrol maintaining roadblocks. Mandatory evacuations are in effect south of Lake Mary Ronan Road from the intersections of Camp Tuffit Road to US Highway 93 and west of Highway 93 from Lake Mary Ronan Road to Chief Cliff Lane.
Pre-evacuation warnings remain in effect for residences north of Lake Mary Ronan Road and residences east and south of Highway 93 between intersections with Montana Highway 28 and Lake Mary Ronan Road.
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The Montana Red Cross is operating evacuation centers at Polson High School and Somers Middle School. Additional information can be found by calling 1-800-272-6668.
Fire crews have been using every tool they have to attack the blaze, especially along the active northern and eastern fronts. Three scooper tankers from Washington State are combining with helicopters to drop thousands of gallons on the fire, as smokey conditions allow.
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A public meeting to discuss the efforts in battling the Elmo Fire will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Elmo Pow Wow Grounds in Elmo.
The Elmo Fire started on July 29, off of Montana Highway 28 around mile marker 39, west of Elmo. The blaze started in grass and made its way into the timber north of Highway 28.
A Type II Incident Management Team is in charge of fighting the blaze.
The Lake County Board of Commissioners issued a Stage II Fire Restrictions declaration Tuesday afternoon. This declaration goes into effect immediately for all lands in Lake County.
The fire danger level on the Flathead Indian Reservation is listed as "very high."
Mission Valley Power shut off power at Black Lake Road, the Proctor Clubhouse, and Hog Heaven on Tuesday as a precaution. The situation will be reassessed Wednesday morning.