Cooler, wetter and a lot less smoke; fires settle down

The cool, wet weather has really knocked things down. South of Glacier Park, the Essex evacuation order is cancelled and traffic on U.S. Highway 2 through the area is back to normal. Locally, the forest closure in the North Fork was lifted, as well as most of the closures in the Kootenai Forest. Trail Creek Road is open all the way through. Quite a few fire crews are demobilizing.

Here’s an overview of conditions throughout the region . . .

Cool, rainy conditions in the Fortine area were favorable enough on the Marston Fire that the fire management team and Flathead and Kootenai national forests have lifted most of the land closures in the Whitefish Range.

That team is managing several fires, including the one burning on and around Marston Mountain that has covered 7,000 acres.

Spokesman Tom Rhodes said the Flathead National Forest has rescinded all of its closures in the Glacier View Ranger District and most of the Kootenai-managed Ten Lakes area has reopened with the exception of Sinclair Creek Trail.

Read more (paywall) . . .

Also read: Western Montana forests and roads reopen, fire growth stalls (Missoulian)