HELENA, Mont. — The Latest on Montana’s wildfires (all times local):
The Montana wildfire that forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 homes and businesses in Seeley Lake is now causing people to leave their homes 30 miles away on the opposite edge of the blaze.
Powell County officials on Sunday ordered the evacuation of the Coopers Lake area. There are several homes and a campground surrounding the lake to the east of the North Fork of the Flathead River.
It is not immediately clear how many residences are affected by the order.
The order comes after the Rice Ridge fire quickly grew from 62 square miles (160 square kilometers) to 86 square miles (222 square kilometers).
Evacuation orders previously issued for the Seeley Lake area are still in effect
The Ravalli County sheriff’s office has ordered the evacuation of about 200 homes in anticipation that worsening weather conditions will put them in the path of a fire.
Sunday’s order stretches about 5 miles from the southern end of Florence to Bass Creek Road for the western side of U.S. Highway 93.
Sheriff Steve Holton said in a statement that the decision was made with fire officials after extreme fire behavior was forecast for Sunday and Monday.
An evacuation center has been set up at the LDS Church in Stevensville.
The 67-square-mile (173-square-kilometer) fire is 31 percent contained. It has already destroyed 10 structures.
Glacier National Park officials have ordered the evacuation of all residents, campers and tourists from one of the most popular areas of the park.
The order that took effect Sunday morning affects the Lake McDonald area, the western side of the dizzying Going-to-the Sun Road and some of the most visited trails in the park.
A fire that destroyed a century-old backcountry chalet last week is now threatening the area near Lake McDonald. The Lake McDonald Lodge, built in 1913, closed last week due to heavy smoke in the area.
Of the 1.8 million people who visited the park this year through July, 808,000 of them entered through the park’s western entrance that leads to the Lake McDonald area.
The evacuation order does not include Apgar Village near the western entrance, and the eastern side of the park remains open.
Montana authorities have ordered the evacuation of about eight homes threatened by a wildfire northeast of Lincoln.
Lewis and Clark County sheriff’s officials issued evacuation notices Saturday night as the fire moved toward Montana Highway 200 on the east side of Roger’s Pass.
Residents of another 10 cabins and a ranch in the Alice Creek Basin and Tom Gulch areas are also being told they may have to evacuate.
Fire information officials say 47 mph wind gusts caused extreme behavior by the 18-square-mile (46-square-kilometer) fire burning 14 miles (22 kilometers) northeast of Lincoln.
The Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Wolf Creek Elementary School.
Fires are expected to be active Sunday with a red-flag warning in effect for most of Montana because of wind gusts, high temperatures and low humidity.