Thompson Fire a little bigger, still staying west of divide

Thompson Fire burning on west side of Cut Bank Pass, Aug 12, 2015

Here are the highlights of this morning’s update on Glacier Park’s Thompson Fire. Short version: The fire is a little bigger (13,680 acres) and there are now people on the ground in the backcountry . . .

Approximate Size: 13,680 acres
Containment: 0% Latitude 48.551, Longitude -113.613
Resources – Total Personnel: 111 Injuries: None
Hand Crews: 1 Wildland Fire Management Module Air Support: Helicopters (1 Type-1 & 1 Type-3) 1 Helitack Crew

Fire Update: The Thompson Fire was reported at approximately 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9. It is located in a remote south-central backcountry area of Glacier National Park about 15 miles east of the West Glacier entrance and 12 miles southwest of the Saint Mary entrance. The fire is burning in the Thompson Creek and Nyack Creek drainages west of Medicine Grizzly Peak where the Flathead and Glacier Counties border follows the Continental Divide. No structures have been lost or damaged to date and no injuries have been reported.

A crew was flown into the Nyack drainage area Saturday evening and established a spike camp to operate from. They will provide additional structure protection measures for the Upper Nyack Backcountry Patrol Cabin, including helicopter water drops if needed. They are constructing a wet line along avalanche chutes to contain fire from further spread. This includes the use of helicopter water drops and pumps and hose lays on the ground. A helitack crew is positioned at the helibase along US Highway 2 to provide support to Glacier NP fire managers in the event of any new fire starts. Fire personnel in the Two Medicine and Cut Bank drainages are assessing structures for possible protection if the fire crosses the Continental Divide. They are also monitoring for any fire slopover across the Divide.

Although buffeted by winds on Friday, the fire remains west of the Divide and has not made any advance to the east. Without spread east of the Divide, the fire poses no threat to communities around East Glacier and St. Mary. Limited growth of the fire was seen on the west side in Nyack Creek.

Sunday’s weather will remain cool with temperatures on the fire in the lower to mid-50s. Humidity will remain higher around 50%. Wind will be lighter at 12-16 mph from the southwest on ridges. Decreasing winds are predicted for the area by morning with a slight chance for showers. Temperatures will slowly increase and humidity decrease over the next several days, with a return to seasonal conditions. There is a slight chance for isolated thunderstorms and rain later in the day on Sunday.