- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Authorities have closed a seven-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 2 and a major rail corridor as a wildfire approaches.

Flathead County emergency information officer Jennifer Rankosky says the highway and railway were closed near Essex Thursday afternoon when embers began falling on the roadway.

She says traffic is being turned around at mile markers 178 and 185.

The nearest east-west roadway is Glacier park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road. The nearest roadway that trucks are allowed to travel on is more than 100 miles south on U.S. Highway 200.

The fire was burning 2 ½ miles south of Essex, but authorities were expecting it to spread as temperatures rise and the wind picks up.

Residents in the area have been notified they have to leave quickly.

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