Residents warned of false evacuation orders

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Mineral County Sheriff Tom Bauer was reminding residents that only uniformed law enforcement officers or fire officials will ask them to evacuate. The warning is the result of a report last week from a resident in the Lozeau area who was allegedly approached by an individual who told them they needed to evacuate immediately. However, he did not appear to be an official with law enforcement or the fire department.

The approximately 5-foot, 6-inch man was described as being about 35 years old and clean-shaven, with dark hair. He was wearing a gray baseball cap, gray and white T-shirt, and jeans. He was on foot and didn’t appear to have a vehicle.

The individual was not part of the fire department crew or from the sheriff’s department, said Bauer. If residents are approached they are asked to give the Sheriff’s Department and the Fire Camp a good description of the individual and a description of their vehicle if they have one. The Fire Camp is located at the Tarkio exit off Interstate 90.

“Also, ask them their name,” Sheriff Bauer said, “and who they work for and nine times out of 10, at that point they will turn around and run because they know they’ve been caught.”

There’s no definite reason why people are being approached, but they want residents to be cautious in case it is a scam. If residents have any concerns or need to report suspicious activity they can contact the sheriff’s office at 406-822-3555.

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