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Lolo residents worry about their homes, property

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Aug 20 2013 10:35:42 PM MDT
Updated On: Aug 21 2013 08:03:05 AM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

The Lolo Complex Fires jumped from 3,500 acres Monday night, to more than 8,000 acres Tuesday.

With gusty winds carrying flames north towards Blue Mountain officials decided to hold a meeting Tuesday to keep the public up-to-date on the latest changes.

Hundreds of anxious residents came to the meeting, many concerned about their homes and property.

NBC Montana attended the meeting and we talked to residents displaced by the fire.

Lolo resident Teri Aldridge lives seven miles up Highway 12 and she tells NBC Montana the last few days have been extremely overwhelming and stressful.

“Some of our stuff is in the car and some of it's just sitting there,” Aldridge says.  “I guess we'll know what we'll have when it's over.”  

Aldridge says her pets are staying with friends but she's still not at ease.

“It's just been really hectic,” she says.  “I’m not working for the next few days until I know what's going to happen.”  

Resident Patricia Hill tells us she and her husband built their house up Highway 12 over 25 years ago.  She tells us it's a home filled with memories and they hope they don't lose it.

“It's a lot of years,” Hill says.  “There's a lot to lose.”

Hill says she welcomes the news that additional crews are on their way.

“I'm just praying for everybody out there that's in danger,” she says.  “May God be with them.”

Lolo resident Brian Burns says he attended Tuesday night’s meeting to keep his family safe.

“I live about three miles down Highway 12 and we see the smoke come and go and it's a major concern for us,” says Burns.  “We didn't want to leave if we didn't have to because we didn't want to put our family in jeopardy.”  

As for Aldridge, she's just glad to see her community pull together during such a difficult time.

“I'm thankful for the people that are out there working to put the fire out and everybody that are helping,” Aldridge says.

Fire officials tell us if you live in the fire zone and have questions you can call the fire hotline at (406) 258 4636.