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Residents prepare for evacuation from Lolo Complex Fire

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Aug 20 2013 02:08:54 PM MDT
Updated On: Aug 20 2013 03:42:52 PM MDT

Local traffic only rule is strictly enforced on Highway 12 as firefighters battle growing 5,000 acre.

LOLO, Mont. -

A Montana Highway Patrol trooper stops every vehicle heading west on Highway 12 Tuesday morning. Only anxious residents or emergency crews can pass.

Bruce Duffalo brought a trailer to retrieve his horses.

"You just wouldn't want to see one of them burned up," said the horseman. "I'm in charge of them, or they're in charge of me," he laughed.

David Nelson is ready to evacuate.

"All of our irreplaceables are packed and ready to go," said Nelson, "Vehicles are pointed downhill."

Everybody's on the phone at the fire information booth at the Conoco station in Lolo. Everybody here has questions.

Kevin Tenesch's house is OK. He was at Conoco with his 2-year-old daughter. Everything in the Tenesch house is boxed up just in case.

"Just getting ready for the sheriff to show up and say leave," said Tenesch,.

Nancy Mininger and her husband were in Missoula Monday and couldn't get back to their house or their dogs up Highway 12.

"The fire was in the ditch right across the road from our property," said Mininger.

Nancy is thankful to the neighbor who rescued her dogs, and was thrilled to hear Monday morning that her house is still standing.