Breaking News – Evacuation Order Issued for Bitterroot Valley
The U.S. Forest Service has issued a stage 2 evacuation notice to citizens with homes in the danger zone of the Sawtooth fire. The evacuation order was issued at 12:30 and will effect roughly 400 addresses. According to emergency information officer Gregg Denitto the area being evacuated is the same area that received the stage 1 evacuation notice over the weekend.
According to Denitto, Stage 2 is defined as a "evacuation is necessary in order to protect the lives of area occupants and emergency personnel responding to the fire." Denitto also delineated the exact area of evacuation.
"All residence west of West side road, south of Paradise Trail and Blodgett Camp road and north of North Gold Creek loop."
Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman says that the order is a "request/ order . . . we don't make anyone leave unless there are children involved." However, Hoffman also makes clear that "at this point, we're hoping people will leave immediately."
Interview with Chris Hoffman:
For up-to-the-minute fire information visit the official fire information page.