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Essex residents, evacuated due to fire, may be out of homes for up to a week

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WEST GLACIER, Montana — Fire officials say residents of the Essex area could be out of their homes for up to a week, depending on the behavior of a fire that has closed within a half mile of the town on the southern edge of Glacier National Park.

The Flathead Beacon reports about 30 people attended a community meeting Thursday evening, just hours after they were evacuated.

Incident commander Mike Goicoechea told residents the fire was about 120 yards from BNSF Railway's main line. The rail line and a section of U.S. Highway 2 were closed shortly after the evacuation was announced. The Izaak Walton Inn evacuated its guests and employees.

A structure protection team was brought in to Essex while helicopters dropped retardant and water on the leading edge of the fire.

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