Tragedy has struck the western side of Flathead Lake, meaning Elmo/Dayton and Lake Mary Ronan are towering infernos with no end in sight. Highway 93 is now closed between Elmo to Dayton.
A public meeting was issued for this evening.
Good evening, Polson. Fire officials have finished briefing the public about the Elmo 2 fire. No word on current acreage, but officials confirmed one structure was lost this afternoon. High winds, low humidity, and 15mph winds have blown the fire towards Dayton.
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have organized resources for the impacted communities and are working on getting the older populations and those with health conditions rooms at hotels.
Red Cross has opened a shelter for those displaced by the Elmo wildfire at Polson High School, 1712 2nd St. W. Shelters provide a safe place to stay, meals, and other resources. Services are free. People also can request Red Cross services by calling 800-272-6668. In addition, the Tribal Health mobile health van will be at the Polson High School Red Cross Center tomorrow.
Last we heard, the Red Cross has everything they need for now. We’ll check in tomorrow and see what, if anything, is required then.
Breezy and dry conditions mixed with 100-degree temperatures helped grow the fire today, and wind conditions made it harder to attack. Tomorrow could be the windiest day, with 30-35 mph winds in the forecast.
It isn’t likely that there will be a public meeting tomorrow, but officials say there may be another public meeting at 7 pm on Wednesday.
Our thoughts are with those displaced and impacted by this Fire. Also, our tremendous gratitude goes out to the firefighters who work tirelessly against this blaze in unrelenting conditions. We’re so very grateful and couldn’t be more honored or proud to call you our neighbors and friends.
For more info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8289/
One resident stated that a structure had already been burned (possibly on the hillside across the highway from the lake) and was concerned that if the fire “jumped the road,” other possible structures could be affected. “I’d sure hate to see the Dayton Elementary School go down.”
It is believed that authorities have ruled out lightning as a cause for the fire but probable it could have been a cigarette. However, again local residents aren’t ruling out the possibility of arson.