Glacier National Park

The Beavertail Hill Fire started next to I-90, and burned uphill before being contained.
Courtesy Montana DNRC

The Reynolds Creek Fire burning six miles east of Logan Pass is 67 percent contained and burning just under 4,000 acres. The fire grew slightly on Saturday due to high winds but its growth was smothered Sunday with heavy smoke.

Pockets of unburned fuel in the interior of the Reynolds Creek fire burned actively Friday, July 31.
Inciweb

It’s been an active day on the fire burning on the east side of Glacier National Park. There’s been significant smoke in the area this afternoon. Fire information officer Shauna Hartman explains why.

Fire officials now believe that the Reynolds Creek Fire was human-caused.
Corin Cates-Carney

Authorities now believe that the fire burning in Glacier National Park was human-caused, and the National Park Service is turning to the public for help.

Spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa)
Matt Lavin (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

The story of noxious weeds is the classic love story gone wrong. You see that beautiful so-and-so across the room, you hang out for a while, decide to move in together. But then you realize they’ve taken over your home, replaced your favorite stuff with useless junk and now you can’t seem to break up.

Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-sun Road is set to open from the west entrance to Logan Pass.
Glacier National Park (CC-BY-2)

Glacier National Park officials say they’ll open more of the Going to the Sun Road from the west side Wednesday, over the top of Logan Pass.

Fire officials say the Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier National Park is now 30 percent contained.
Jennifer McKee

Updates on wildfires burning in and around western Montana.

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

A federal judge has given Interior Secretary Sally Jewell three weeks to take action on a Louisiana company’s natural gas leases near Glacier National Park that have been held up for 29 years.

Smoke over St. Mary Lake, July 26, 2015.
inciweb

Glacier National Park’s St. Mary Visitor Center reopens this morning.

Fire officials say the Reynolds Creek Fire now stands at  over 3,200 acres with 30 percent containment.

The Reynolds Creek Fire seen shortly after it was discovered on July 21, 2015.
Inciweb

Updates on wildfires burning in and around western Montana.

No smoke is visible from the Apgar Lookout webcam on the west side of Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park

As news of the fire on the east side of Glacier National Park spreads, some visitors there are packing their bags and heading west, taking their tourism dollars with them.

Before the fire, the Park was on pace to pass last year’s record setting attendance number of 2.3 million.

Corin Cates-Carney

There's a red flag fire weather warning in effect for the third day in a row for the east side of Glacier National Park today where the Reynolds Creek Fire continues to burn out of control.

Fire officials now believe that the Reynolds Creek Fire was human-caused.
Corin Cates-Carney

Lindsay Pilon and Kayla Stephens were among those evacuated from northeast Glacier Tuesday when the Reynolds Creek fire began burning through what is now estimated at 4,000 acres of dry timber.

The two young women live and work in West Glacier and were leading family friends on an overnight trip.

The Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier Park has burned 4,000 acres since Tuesday July 21.
Corin-Cates-Carney

The Reynolds Creek Fire, burning on the northeast side of Glacier National Park is still not contained but  has not grown significantly today.

The sky over St. Mary Lake is gray with smoke and the air hums with helicopters. At last estimate the Reynolds Creek fire six miles east of Logan Pass is burning 4,000 acres.

Smoke from the Reynolds Creek Fire as seen from St. Mary visitor's center.
Glacier National Park

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag fire weather warning for the east side of Glacier National Park today from noon to 9:00 p.m., meaning high winds and low humidity, with temperatures in the 70s.

The Reynolds Creek Fire seen from Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park
Courtesy Jan von Lehe

Updated 5:20 p.m. In addition to the 2,000 acre Reynolds Creek fire in Glacier National Park, at least two other wildfires are burning in western Montana, including the 2,500 acre Cabin Gulch fire on the Helena National Forest, and the 163 acre Rock Point fire on the Bitterroot National Forest.

The fire has forced the closure of Going-to-the-Sun Road from St. Mary to Big Bend.
Corin Cates-Carney

Updated 07/22/15, 5:25 p.m. Glacier National Park officials are reporting strong winds and extreme fire behavior on the east side of the park at this hour. Outside the park, a mandatory evacuation order has been issued for the west shore of lower St. Mary Lake, according to the Glacier County Sheriff's department. People on the lake's east side are being told to prepare for possible evacuation.

A wildfire has closed the road from St. Mary to Logan pass in Glacier National Park.
Flickr user photommo (CC-BY-ND)

Update 9:50 p.m.: The Flathead Beacon is reporting that the fire has grown to 1,000 acres in five hours, forcing the evacuation of Rising Sun Campground and Rising Sun Motor Inn.

A type 2 incident team has been ordered, and a fire information phone line has been established at (406) 732-7791.

Visitor center attendant Hugh Austin stands behind the information desk at the old Belton Train Station in West Glacier. The visitor center is staffed 1-5pm, 7 days a week, and will provide Glacier visitors information on activities around the Flathead.
Corin Cates-Carney

A new visitor information center in West Glacier opened Tuesday to show Glacier National Park visitors what else Montana has to offer.

The Whitefish, Bigfork and Columbia Falls Chambers of Commerce will join forces to share expenses and staff the center this summer.

Whitefish Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kevin Gartland says the Chambers' goal is to turn additional information about the Flathead Valley into a boost in the local economy.

Glacier Rim Fire Update

Jul 6, 2015
A view of the Glacier Rim Fire from the air, July 5, 2015
Inciweb/LChute

The Glacier Rim fire south of Glacier National Park slopped over fire lines due to high winds on July fourth, but firefighters made progress yesterday thanks to cooler weather and higher humidity. The fire is now estimated at 100 acres in size, up from 85 acres last week. It's being called 70% contained, that’s up from the 50% containment figure given on Friday.

Fireworks Bans Spread Across Western Montana

Jul 2, 2015
Fireworks
(PD)

Fireworks bans are spreading across western Montana in the face of hot, dry weather, and high fire danger.

The City of Whitefish has canceled its 4th of July public fireworks display, citing a fire weather watch for Saturday, issued by the National Weather Service. The Weather Service says to expect high temperatures, low humidifies and gusty winds from the Flathead Valley, through Missoula to south of Dillon. Communities included in the fire weather watch include Eureka, Libby, Polson, Seeley Lake, Hamilton and Butte.

Rep. Ryan Zinke. File photo.
Eric Whitney

Montana's Representative in the U.S. House says a wildfire burning near Glacier National Park shows why comprehensive forest management reform is needed. Republican Ryan Zinke yesterday visited with crews fighting the 85-acre Glacier Rim Fire.

Fire Near Glacier Park Has Burned 80 Acres

Jun 29, 2015
North Fork of the Flathead River
U.S. Forest Service

A human-caused fire that started over the weekend just outside Glacier National Park has burned 80 acres and started eight spot fires inside the Park. Officials are calling the Glacier Rim Fire 25% contained.

Glacier National Park Entrance At St. Mary
Flicker user GlacierNPS (CC-BY-2.0)

After four years as the deputy superintendent of Glacier National Park, Kym Hall is leaving Montana.

Hall’s career in the National Park Service spans almost 29 years. She came to Glacier during a transition of leadership in the park, before Jeff Mow was named superintendent. She briefly served as acting superintendent of the park in 2013. She says in her mind Glacier will remain an important place.

National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow welcomes the Janssen family as the honorary 100 millionth visitor in park history. National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow welcomes the Janssen family as the honorary 100 millionth visitor in park history.
Corin Cates-Carney

Glacier National park marked another attendance milestone Thursday morning as the 100 millionth visitor in park history drove through the west entrance.

Going To The Sun Road To Open Partially June 11

Jun 10, 2015
Plow crews work their way up Going-to-the-Sun Road in April 2015
Flickr user: GlacierNPS (CC-BY-2.0)

Glacier National Park officials now say they anticipate allowing cars to access Logan Pass from the west side starting on the morning of Thursday, June 11, with a portion of the road being one-lane until June 19.

But they say Going-to-the-Sun road won’t be open from the east side until June 19th.

Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park
flickr: GlacierNPS (CC-BY-2)

A new visitor center will open in West Glacier this summer to encourage more tourists to visit the communities surrounding Glacier National Park. 

Whitefish Chamber of Commerce is taking the lead on the new visitor center, which is set to open July 1. Executive Director Kevin Gartland says this project is all about tapping into the pool of visitors during Glacier’s peak summer months, July and August.

Glacier National Park officials fielded questions about the condition of the Going-to-the-Sun Road Wednesday night at a community meeting in Columbia Falls.

Superintendent Jeff Mow opened the evening with a joke about an apparent sign that must be on his back, to ask when the Going-to-the-Sun Road will open for the season.

A 2014 decision from the U.S. FWS says the proposed Montanore mine is not likely to harm the threatened bull trout.
Joel Sartore National Geographic & Wade Fredenberg USFWS (CC-BY-2.0)

A Montana environmental group working on recovery of the threatened bull trout is critical of a new federal plan to save the fish.

"I guess I just don’t see this as being a holistic plan," says Arlene Montgomery.

A plow team work their way up the west side of Going-to-the-sun road in Glacier National Park. The team is about a half mile from the summit.
Corin Cates-Carney

Glacier National Park crews are getting the Going-to-the-Sun road ready for what officials say could be another record year for the park. But, before visitors climb the pass, a lot of work still needs to be done.

Tom Westbrook (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

In 2014, Glacier National Park set an all-time visitation record. But, with the record comes concern for growing traffic in the park.

Park Officials are looking for public comment on The Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor Management Plan, which started in 2013.

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