Seeley smoke

A contract fire firefighter stands outside his truck in downtown Seeley Lake Thursday morning where officials from the Missoula City-County Health Department have issued a strong recommendation that residents leave the area to get out of the hazardous air quality conditions created by smoke pouring into the town from the nearby Rice Ridge fire.

KURT WILSON, Missoulian

Gov. Steve Bullock issued a new executive order Friday declaring a fire emergency in the state.

The declaration cited numerous and intense wildland fires burning in several western Montana counties — Missoula, Ravalli, Powell, Mineral, Lincoln, Granite, Lewis and Clark, Beaverhead, Lake, Flathead counties — and on the Flathead Indian Reservation, and one in Eastern Montana — Carter County, near Ekalaka.

Under a fire emergency, the state can add resources and send the Montana National Guard to help fight fires. The state can also use more funds for the effort.

“We will continue to do everything we can to make sure folks on the ground have the resources they need to protect Montanans and their property until every single fire is put out,” Bullock said in a release.

Bullock first declared a fire emergency this season on July 23.

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