Reynolds Creek Fire: more evacuations ordered

Smoke from Reynolds Creek Fire, July 22, 2015
Smoke from Reynolds Creek Fire, July 22, 2015

Here is the latest press release from Glacier National Park on the Reynolds Creek Fire. Note the expanded evacuation orders . . .

Officials at Glacier National Park report that fire conditions and forecasted winds have prompted additional precautionary evacuations of the St. Mary area within Glacier National Park. These evacuations include the St. Mary Visitor Center and National Park Service administrative area. The St. Mary Campground, Rising Sun Campground, and the Rising Sun Motor Inn were previously evacuated.

Evacuations for areas adjacent to the park boundary were ordered by the Glacier County Sherriff and Blackfeet Emergency Services.

The wind-driven fire is moving quickly in dry, heavy timber and extreme fire behavior is reported. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. today for Glacier National Park. This warning means that critical fire weather conditions are anticipated, including strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures, factors contributing to the rapid fire growth.

At last report, the fire was estimated to be 2,000 acres. The fire management priorities are safety of public and fire-fighting personnel, protection of property and values at risk, and containment of the fire. A Type 1 Incident Management Team has been ordered.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed between the St. Mary entrance on the east side and Big Bend on the west side. The road closure is in response to the fire, firefighter and visitor safety, fire response activities, and park personnel priorities. The duration of the road closure is unknown.

Resources from Flathead National Forest, Glacier County, East Glacier, Babb, St Mary, and Cutbank, Fire Departments, Blackfeet Fire Management, Montana Department of Natural Resources, Evergreen and West Valley Fire Departments and Flathead County are assisting Glacier National Park.

Fire information phone lines have been established at (406)732-7791 and (406) 732-7790.

The fire was first reported at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday and was located near Grizzly Point, approximately six miles east of Logan Pass. Park dispatch received numerous reports of the fire from shuttle bus drivers, Glacier Boat Company employees, park employees and visitors.