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Entries in Lincoln County Sheriff's Department (7)


Caribou Fire more than doubles in size, more evacuations ordered

Residents view the increased activity of the Caribou Fire on Saturday evening - Forest Service photo (WEST KOOTENAI)- Dry conditions and high winds are creating massive growth on the explosive Caribou Fire, which has now more than doubled in size since Friday.

The fire, which started small after being ignited by lightning on August 11th, has blown up in the hot, dry weather of the past couple of days, and has now scorched nearly 14,000 acres. The fire is burning 18-miles northwest of Eureka on the west side of Lake Koocanusa, above the East Fork of the Yaak and has spread across the Canadian border.

Authorities are reporting this morning some structures have been lost as the fire made a 4-mile run yesterday. 

The Lincoln County Sheriff has expanded the initial evacuation order for both the West Kootenai North and South Zones. That impacts the small communities of Dodge Creek, Spring Creek and West Kootenai. Just over 300 people live in the West Kootenai area. 

The Red Cross has set up emergency services for evacuees have been set up at the Church of God in Eureka. A community meeting os set for 7 tonight at the Kootenai Fire Hall. 


Hunter shot near Libby improving 

(LIBBY)- A hunter who was accidentally shot in the leg in Lincoln County remains in critical but stable condition at Kalispell Regional Medicial Center. 

The 60-year old man from Colorado was accidentally shot by a Libby hunter in the thigh in a remote area Saturday morning. Lincoln County Sheriff's deputies say the pair didn't know one another. 

The hunter applied a tourniquet to the injured hunter and drove him out to meet an ambulance. He was still being treated Tuesday and was listed in critical, but stable condition. The sheriff's office continues to investigate the full details of the incident.


Authorities look for attempted murder suspect in Lincoln County

(EUREKA)- The violent crime problems continue for Lincoln County deputies, who are on the hunt for a man who attacked and beat a woman so badly he may have broken her neck.

KAJ TV reports the attack happened a couple of weeks ago in Eureka and deputies had expected John Stone was going to turn himself in on Friday. But the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says Stone was a no show, and now deputies throughout Northwest Montana are on the lookout for him on attempted homicide charges. The courts have issued a $35,000 arrest warrant.

The woman continues to recover at North Valley Hospital. 

The attack is the latest in a string of violent cases that have plagued Lincoln County in recent weeks, where four different murders have happened since December. Three of those cases are still active. 


Lincoln County authorities checking into "suspicious death"

(LIBBY)- Lincoln County authorities are trying to piece together what led to the death of a man who was found in the Lower Yaak Valley over the weekend.

Lincoln County Sheriff Roby Bowe says deputies were called to the scene after the car was found Sunday afternoon in the remote valley area northwest of Troy.

At this point, Bowe says there are "suspicious circumstances" surrounding the man's death, although he didn't provide further details. The man's body was recovered from the scene and has been taken to the Montana State Crime Lab for a complete autopsy.

Bowe didn't release the man's identity, other than to say he was 69-years old.

Lincoln County has been hit with a rash of violent crimes, including several murder cases this winter. 


Testing expected to see if severed arm belonged to Libby train victim

(LIBBY)- Authorities are expecting to run tests to determine if a severed arm found in a train yard belongs to the man who was hit and killed by a passing locomotive in Libby last month.

29-year old William Escudero died when he stepped in front of the passing Burlington Northern Santa Fe train as it was going through Libby on January 16th.

Now, KAJ TV reports Lincoln County authorities are checking out reports that an arm found in the rail yard in Springfield, Missouri came from Escudero's body. Deputies say the arm might have gotten lodged underneath the rail car that was involved in the accident which was eventually transported to the Midwest. 

The arm will be returned to Montana for DNA testing.