Tag Archives: Glacier Rim Fire

U.S. Forest Service: Glacier Rim Fire Update 6/29/15

Glacier Rim Fire with Helicopter
Glacier Rim Fire with Helicopter

Here is the official Monday evening report on the status of the Glacier Rim Fire:

Glacier Rim Fire Update  —  11am
Fire Information — 406-387-3867

The Glacier Rim Fire is burning on the Glacier View Ranger District, in the Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park. This fire is being managed with full suppression tactics, with fire fighter and public safety as a priority.

Fire Summary:
Location: North of Columbia Falls, MT, approximately 11.5 miles up the North Fork Road in the vicinity of Glacier Rim.
Detected: June 27, 2015
Cause: Human caused, under investigation.
Legal Description: SE, Section 27, T32N, R20W: Lat/Long: Lat. 48 30′ 9″ North, Long. 114 8′ 39″
Current Size: 80 acres; Containment: 25%

Current Status: The Glacier Rim fire started on June 27, 2015, at approximately 1 p.m. The fire is believed to be human caused and is under investigation. The fire is burning in the old 2003 Robert Fire burned area. The fuels are mixed heavy dead timber and brush, with significant snag hazard. The fire is primarily located west of the North Fork Road, though it has spotted across the North Fork River in to Glacier National Park.

Yesterday, Sunday, June 28th crews worked to build fire line and contain the flanks of the fire. Control lines have been completed on the east side of the fire, nearest to the North Fork Road, and crews are working on the south and north sides with heavy equipment to build fire line. Helicopters were used to assist with containment on the leading edges. The spot fires on the park site were staffed with firefighters. Today, Monday, June 29th firefighters will continue the same tactics of using heavy equipment and hand crews to build fire line, with helicopters assisting. Firefighter efforts are challenged due to safety concerns involving extreme danger of falling dead trees originally burned in the Robert Fire of 2003. Unseasonably warm weather and extremely dry fuel conditions are driving fire behavior in these previously burned fuels. An incoming weather system may bring winds to the fire. There are 6 threatened structures. Two residences have evacuated, but there is not a general evacuation notice.

The following resources are assigned to the fire: three 20-person fire crews and several other smaller modules of firefighters, two engines, two water tenders, two helicopters, a mix of heavy equipment including a dozer, two feller-bunchers, a grappel skidder and an excavator, two jet boats to facilitate floater safety on the river, a local type 3 Incident Management Team composed of Flathead National Forest, Glacier National Park, Flathead County, and MT State Department of Natural Resources, for a total of 90 total firefighters.

SPECIAL MESSSAGE: FOR YOUR SAFETY AND THE FIRE FIGHTERS SAFETY DO NOT STOP IF YOU ARE TRAVELING IN THE FIRE AREA. Vehicles on driving on the North Fork Road are asked to not stop in the fire area. River floaters on the river are asked to not stop in the fire area. Helicopters are working over head to shuttle fire fighters to the fire as well as performing water drops. The helicopters cannot fly overhead if people are stopped below.

Today, the fire information center will be working to start up an inciweb site and an email for the fire.

Glacier Rim Fire still burning in old Robert Fire debris

There was not a lot of new information posted overnight about the Glacier Rim Fire. It is now about 60-80 acres in size. The blaze continues to burn in the old snags and debris left over from the 2003 Robert Fire, which is no fun for fire crews. The North Fork Road is still open — tentatively. The Type III fire management crew should be on-site by now, along with even more equipment. They are treating this one as a “full suppression” fire. Smoke from the fire is causing air quality problems down-valley, especially in Columbia Falls. I saw no discussion about the thunderstorms due through the area later today.

Here are links to the more recent press coverage:

Glacier Rim Fire continues to burn – Daily Inter Lake (paywall)

North Fork Road reopened as Glacier Rim Fire doubles in size – Missoulian

Crews continue to fight Glacier Rim Fire; Type III team due to arrive

The Glacier Rim Fire continues to burn as crews work on containing it to keep  it away from heavier fuels . . .

A 30-acre wildfire along the North Fork of the Flathead River is still burning today and U.S. Forest Service officials say a Type III management team will be put in place to try and contain it.

The Glacier Rim Fire started shortly after noon on Saturday and grew from less than an acre to more than 30 acres in a matter of hours. The fire forced the closure of the North Fork Road about 11 miles north of Columbia Falls, but today the road has been reopened. However, officials ask that people not stop along the road and to stay out of the way of firefighters in the area.

Flathead National Forest Public Information Officer Ema Braunberger said that at least 50 firefighters were on site early Sunday morning and that more were on the way. She said firefighters hope to build a firebreak around the entire fire today before this afternoon’s record-breaking temperatures arrive. Saturday was the hottest June day on record in Kalispell with the mercury hitting 97 degrees. But that record may not last long as the National Weather Service in Missoula says temperatures could exceed 100 degrees today.

Read more . . .

See also: North Fork Road reopened as crews battle Glacier Rim Fire

Crews making progress on Glacier Rim Fire; road and river re-open

Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News reports that crews are making good progress on the Glacier Rim Fire. The North Fork Road is now open and river traffic is allowed past the area. Travelers are not permitted to stop and rubberneck, though . . .

The North Fork Road reopened to vehicle traffic Sunday morning after being shut down by a wildfire near Glacier Rim yesterday. Floaters, at least as of this morning, were allowed to use the North Fork of the Flathead in the area, but cannot stop on the river above Glacier Rim where heavy helicopters are hitting hot spots with bucket drops.

Vehicles on the road also cannot stop in the fire area.

The fire looked to be roughly 30 to 40 acres in size, skunking around in downed timber from the Robert Fire burn of 2003. Crews appear to have made good progress on the fire overnight.

Read more . . .

Wildfire near Glacier Rim; North Fork Road closed

The 30-acre “Glacier Rim” wildfire brewed up Saturday afternoon in a gravel pit near the Glacier Rim area. Multiple agencies have responded. So far, the fire is confined to the west side of the North Fork, with minor spotting on the Glacier Park side of the river. The North Fork Road is closed. At least one home has been evacuated and warnings issued to three more.

Here’s the news coverage so far . . .

Firefighters Battle Wildfire Along the North Fork (Flathead Beacon – several photos)

Crews battle wildfire near Glacier National Park (Missoulian)

Firefighters attack North Fork fire (Daily Inter Lake – warning: paywall)