The Sheep Fire edged a bit closer to Essex . . .
Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry ordered a mandatory, but precautionary, evacuation for Essex today at 2:40 p.m. The Sheep Fire is still on the ridge above the mountain town east of Columbia Falls. The fire is growing due to winds and temperatures in the 80s today, public information officer Sonja Hartman said.
They want to get people out of the town so firefighters can be stationed in the town, Hartman said. They decided it would be easiest to get people out earlier rather than later.
She said they are being “extremely cautious.”