Residents of Essex and surrounding areas are preparing themselves to evacuate due to a nearby fire called Sheep Fire.

UPDATE (3:20 p.m.) Public Information Officer Jennifer Rankosky informed KGVO that Highway 2 is now closed from milepost 175 to 185 in Flathead County.

Rankosky said residents have been informed and are at the 'Set' stage of the ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ action plan.

"The Sheriff's office has been up to Essex for the past few days doing door to door pre-evacuation," Rankosky said. "They have already 'Readied' the residents up there and now they are at the 'Set'. Just preparing them that if the fire was to make a run there, then they can just go. We just like to plan. It really depends on the weather and the wind, but we really just want them to be prepared."

Rankosky says that more than 70 residents were notified about the evacuation, and although the town is small, Ranksosky says there is traffic brought to Essex.

"It's not a very big town," Rankosky said. "There are a lot of vacation cabins up there; the Izaak Walton Inn is up there, so there is a population base up there. There are a lot of river homes that are along there. It's kind of a condensed but not condensed area."

As of noon on Thurdsay, August 20, no evacuations were announced, but around 200 structures are threatened.

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