With fire season underway in earnest, and looking back at last year's devastating Roaring Lion Fire, Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton has proactively published the county's evacuation plan.

Using the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office app, Holton is letting citizens know the steps to be taken in case the worst happens.

"We're just reminding everyone living in the wildland urban interface that's it's July and we do have a number of fires burning in Ravalli County and there's no real relief from the weather forecast in sight," Holton said. "We want people to be prepared, so we can continue our streak of not having anybody injured in a fire."

Holton said the county's present plan has evolved since the historic fire season of 2000.

"It evolves a little bit every year," he said. "Basically, it's a two stage evacuation. Stage one is a warning. We just want to educate businesses and homeowners in an area specifically threatened by a wildfire that an evacuation may be pending. If they have livestock or people with a medical issues, now might be the time to relocate. The second stage of course is the actual evacuation where we hope we have time to go door to door, but if not, we'll use patrol vehicles with PA systems We want to warn people very quickly, so they have time to prepare and move safely."

Holton said Ravalli County residents can come to his office for pre-evacuation packets.

"In addition, if an evacuation become imminent, we'll reach out to all our media outlets and let them know," he said. "The app is the best way. If you have a smartphone, just go to the app store on your phone and download the free Ravalli County Sheriff's Office app."

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