HELENA, Mont. — The Latest on Montana’s wildfires (all times local):

5:55 p.m.

Montana officials are closing Seeley Lake so that crews can safely draw the water to fight a nearby fire.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said Tuesday the closure of the popular recreational spot for boaters and swimmers takes effect immediately.

Residents near the fire burning north of the town of Seeley Lake have been put on evacuation notice. Town residents are also being told to prepare for a possible evacuation

Fires are burning to the east and west of Seeley Lake, which has created hazardous air quality levels in the area.

The Missoulian reports that fire evacuation warnings have also been issued for about 70 homes in Missoula County.

Granite County officials also ordered residents along a 12-mile stretch of Rock Creek to leave their homes.


12:35 p.m.

Residents of Seeley Lake are threatened by air that Montana environmental officials have classified as hazardous because of fires burning to the east and west of the town.

The Department of Environmental Quality warned Tuesday that all adults and children in the area should avoid going outside or limit their outdoor activities.

Much of the rest of southwestern Montana is also feeling the effects of wildfire smoke. Residents of Butte and Hamilton are being warned that the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children and people with respiratory disease.

The Northern Rockies Coordination Center says there are 20 large fires burning in Montana. Nine of them are concentrated in a triangle between Philipsburg, Superior and Seeley Lake in western Montana.