The Montana Red Cross put a shelter on standby Monday night for residents of West Riverside and Cambridge Road that may be affected or eventually displaced by fire due to mandatory evacuations. The East Missoula Community Center at 314 Montana Avenue is ready to open with staff on a moment’s notice. Anyone requiring shelter should call 1-800-ARC-MONT (1-800-272-6668). 

If homeowners are directed to evacuate, they should also call to alert the Red Cross to a potential influx of need. As of 10:30 p.m. Monday night, area residents had packed, but were waiting for a word from firefighters on whether to move out of the area.  Sprinklers watered rooftops and lawns and clusters of neighbors watched firefighters attack hotspots, and patrol the hill where the fire could eventually contact homes at is base. Currently, there are no mandatory evacuations in place, but Tuesday’s high winds and hot weather will challenge those fighting the blaze. 

“Evacuations aside, if homeowners are scared to go home, they need a place to stay,” says statewide disaster director Colleen Tone.  “We are here to help.”

The community center could hold as many as 50 overnight residents, Tone said, and would remain accessible should highway closures occur.

 Out of area relatives needing information on those affected by fire should call 1-800-ARC-MONT, or can check www.safeandwell.org.  Families affected by fire should register there today.

Story From American Red Cross of Montana