Four homes burn in Elmo 2 fire, blaze grows to over 18,000 acres

Joshua Murdock

At least four homes have been lost to the Elmo 2 fire on the west side of Flathead Lake near Elmo and Dayton as of Wednesday morning. 

Lake County Sheriff Don Bell and Northern Rockies Team 7, the incident management team overseeing the firefighting effort, each confirmed Wednesday that a total of eight structures — four primary residences and four outbuildings — had burned.

Bell told the Missoulian in a text message that approximately 150 homes were under an evacuation order midday Wednesday. 

Bell expanded evacuation orders on the fire’s northeast front around 4 p.m. Tuesday as gusty winds from the west pushed the fire toward Lake Mary Ronan Road and Lake Mary Ronan, northwest of Dayton. An existing evacuation order for homes south of the road remains in place. The entire Lake Mary Ronan Road corridor from U.S. Highway 93 to the lake, and area around the lake, are now under a full evacuation order. 

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Active fire behavior with aggressive fire spread was expected Wednesday, according to an InciWeb page for the fire. 

The fire grew to 18,427 acres by Wednesday morning and was 16% contained.

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