Tag Archives: Reynolds Creek Fire

Reynolds Creek Fire investigation team looking for information

Reynolds Creek Fire - Smoke Plume Above St. Mary Lake, July 25, 2015
Reynolds Creek Fire – Smoke Plume Above St. Mary Lake, July 25, 2015

Uh, oh. It appears the Reynolds Creek Fire was human caused. Here’s the rather terse official press release . . .

The National Park Service is seeking information that may assist with an investigation of the Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier National Park.

Initial evidence suggests that the Reynolds Creek Fire was caused by human actions.

Park visitors that were hiking in the area of Reynolds Creek on the Gunsight Pass Trail or that may have been staying in or hiking through the Reynolds Creek Backcountry Campground, from July 14 to July 21, are encouraged to call 888-653-0009 or email nps_isb@nps.gov.

The fire was first reported at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21, approximately six miles east of Logan Pass. To date, it has burned approximately 3,200 acres.

Logan Pass open from west side; more good progress on Reynolds Creek Fire

As progress continues against the Reynolds Creek fire, Logan Pass re-opens for access from the west side of the park . . .

Access to Logan Pass is available to Glacier National Park visitors for the first time since the Reynolds Creek Fire sparked July 22, and as fire crews continue to gain ground on the blaze and shore up its northeast edge, officials have listed the fire at 56 percent contained.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains closed on the east side from just beyond the St. Mary Campground to Logan Pass, but beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday visitors could once again travel to the iconic corridor’s high point from the west side.

Visitors should expect delays and congestion along the road.

Read more . . .

See also: ‘By no means is all this black’: Popular Glacier landmarks relatively unscathed by fire

St. Mary Visitor Center in Glacier National Park to reopen Monday

Glacier National Park
News Release
July 26, 2015 5:00 p.m.

For immediate release: We apologize for conflicting information earlier today.

Fire officials have assessed current fire behavior and suppression activity in the Reynolds Creek Fire and announced that the St. Mary Visitor Center at the east entrance to Glacier National Park can reopen on Monday July 27. Hours are from 8 am to 6 pm.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road will remain closed from the St. Mary Visitor Center to Big Bend on the west side of the Divide, a distance of 18 miles. The St. Mary Campground, the Rising Sun Motor Inn, the Rising Sun Campground and Logan Pass are not yet open to the public.

Glacier National Park remains open; excellent recreation and access opportunities abound. For information on current park activities, visit www.nps.gov/glac, Facebook.com/GlacierNPS, twitter.com/glaciernps, or flickr.com/photos/glaciernps. Additionally, current conditions can be viewed on park webcams at: http://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm.

Weather aids Reynolds Fire efforts; containment expands; evacuation levels downgraded

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

Another day of steady progress against the Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier National Park . . .

Evacuation levels in Glacier National Park are being downgraded as the weather improves and fire crews corral sections of the Reynolds Creek Fire.

Officials with the incident did not report any new growth of the fire on Sunday morning. The blaze, which is burning along the north shore of St. Mary Lake in rocky, rugged terrain, remains listed at 3,158 acres. It is 20 percent contained.

Recent rains have subdued the fire, but it still possesses potential for activity if drier weather conditions return, according to fire officials. Forecasters have said a cold, wet weather system would hit the region Sunday and Monday with possible snow in the higher elevations of Glacier Park.

Read more . . .

Also read . . .

Weather keeps Glacier Park fire in check; containment grows

Firefighters use explosives to build line on Glacier Park fire

Weather helped slow Reynolds Creek Fire, but high winds predicted

Reynolds Creek Fire - Smoke Plume Above St. Mary Lake, July 25, 2015
Reynolds Creek Fire – Smoke Plume Above St. Mary Lake, July 25, 2015

With more than 450 people battling the blaze, crews continue their steady progress against the Reynolds Creek Fire. The biggest concern is forecast high winds . . .

There was little change overnight in the Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier Park, as an elite team of firefighters continued to be aided by weather conditions.

The fire, which started on Tuesday, is currently listed as approximately 3,166 acres, according to a press release issued this morning. More than 450 firefighters and support crew members are assigned to the fire, which has been slowed by cool temperatures and rising humidity.

Helicopters were kept engaged throughout the day Friday, assisting crews on the ground by dropping water on the head of the fire at the northeast perimeter.

Read more . . .

See also . . .

More Firefighters Arrive to Battle Glacier National Park Fire

Evacuations remain in effect for Glacier Park fire; new acreage estimate at 3,166

Reynolds Ceeek Fire - Heavy Helicopter Dropping Its Load of Water, July 25, 2015
Reynolds Ceeek Fire – Heavy Helicopter Dropping Its Load of Water, July 25, 2015

Steady progress against Reynolds Creek Fire

Reynolds Creek Fire - Morning Briefing at Incident Command Post
Reynolds Creek Fire – Morning Briefing at Incident Command Post

The Daily Inter Lake posted an excellent report on the progress being made by the Type I crew now in place to fight the Reynolds Creek Fire.

Highlights: There are 454 people and a lot of equipment, including some very big helicopters, involved in the effort. The fire is 10% contained, with the emphasis on safety, structure protection and keeping the fire from spotting beyond its current perimeter. The area of the active fire has been reduced to a little more than 3,000 acres . . .

The Reynolds Creek Fire at Glacier National Park is far from under control, but a reduction in total fire size, containment of 10 percent of its perimeter and an expected change in weather are providing a glimmer of hope to fire management officials.

It’s the only wildfire in the country currently being fought by an elite Type I Incident Management Team. Incident commander Greg Poncin, of Kalispell, said Friday that firefighters had brought the fire’s total area to slightly more than 3,000 acres, although the total burned acreage is significantly larger.

He said the primary challenges for his team are the rugged terrain and long-burning, heavy fuels, although the near-continuous daytime winds also haven’t made his job any easier.

Read more . . .

Reynolds Creek Fire now at 5,000 acres; weather may help

Reynolds Creek Fire - July 21, 2015
Reynolds Creek Fire – July 21, 2015

The Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier National Park is now up to 5,000 acres (maybe — there’s some debate), a Type I team is now in-place to fight the blaze and Sunday may provide some helpful weather . . .

The Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier National Park grew another 1,000 acres on Thursday, but there may be favorable weather on the horizon this weekend.

The fire is burning from Reynolds Creek east to Two Dog Flats, about 3 miles from the Park’s eastern boundary.

The National Weather Service is predicting a widespread rain event Sunday evening with snow levels dropping to 8,000 feet over the Park and a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Read more . . .

See also . . .

Elite firefighting team takes charge at Glacier Park wildfire (Missoulian)

Wind is enemy as firefighters await chance to prevail (Daily Inter Lake — paywall)

Reynolds Creek Fire public meeting July 24, 2015

Posted to the Reynolds Creek Fire InciWeb site . . .

Public Meeting: Friday, July 24, 2015, at the St. Mary Lodge in the Great Bear Conference Room
A Public Meeting will be held in St. Mary in the Great Bear Conference Room at the St. Mary Lodge. The meeting will run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fire managers will provide an update on current status of the fire and be available to answer questions.

Crews battle Reynolds Creek Fire; Type I team takes over this evening

While we wait for the latest reports on the state of the Reynolds Creek Fire, here’s a good summary of the situation so far . . .

Fueled by high winds and dry conditions, a wildfire is chewing through heavy timber on the east side of Glacier National Park as firefighters and helicopters scramble to contain the blaze that is moving northeast along St. Mary Lake and near Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Roughly 200 personnel and six helicopters are battling the Reynolds Creek Fire, which is burning in a dense, rugged section of forest plagued by beetle kill and a region afflicted with drought conditions. The fire is not contained and remains at 4,000 acres, according to the last estimates from Thursday morning.

A red flag warning was issued Thursday for potentially dangerous weather conditions and extreme fire behavior. Forecasters predicted 20-30 mph wind gusts and low humidity that could cause the wildfire to quickly spread. Relief could arrive this weekend as cool, wet weather sweeps across Northwest Montana, including the high country in Glacier Park.

Read More . . .

See also: Reynolds Creek Fire doubles in size, frying Rose Creek (Hungry Horse News)

Glacier Park’s Reynolds Creek Fire increases to 4,000 acres

The Reynolds Creek Fire is up to 4,000 acres now. Here is the official press release . . .

Extreme fire behavior continues on the Reynolds Creek Wildland Fire on the east side of Glacier National Park. Additional resources are arriving, including fire crews, helicopters, engines and an interagency incident command team. Due to windy conditions and extreme fire behavior, today’s suppression actions were limited to aerial water drops and some on-the-ground crew work.

The fire is moving northeast and is currently estimated to be 4,000 acres. It is located approximately 10 miles from the St. Mary Visitor Center along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Scattered light rain fell throughout the area, but strong winds and warm temperatures fueled additional acreage. The fire is moving quickly in dry, heavy timber with extreme spread potential. The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning in effect through 9 p.m. tonight for the area. This warning means that critical fire weather conditions exist.

The fire management priorities are safety of public and fire-fighting personnel, protection of property and values at risk, and containment of the fire.

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.

Several evacuations in and around the St. Mary Visitor Center have been implemented as precautionary measures. Glacier County Sheriff’s Office and Blackfeet Law Enforcement have evacuated the west side of Lower St. Mary Lake and may continue with evacuations on the East shore of Lower St. Mary Lake. The townsite of St. Mary is being evaluated for possible evacuation. The National Park Service evacuated the employee housing area and administrative area early this evening.

Within the park, the St. Mary Campground was evacuated this morning, and the Rising Sun Motor Inn, operated by Glacier National Park Lodges, and the Rising Sun Campground were evacuated Tuesday evening. The St. Mary Visitor Center closed to the public at 12 p.m. today and will be used as a fire staging area. The duration of the closure is unknown at this time.

Several backpackers in the vicinity of the fire were located and found to be safe. Additional backpackers were located and will be escorted safely from the area. Park rangers and personnel will continue to search for backcountry hikers in the area to evacuate them and direct them to safety. 

Today several visitors were able to retrieve their vehicles that were left along the Going-to-the-Sun Road yesterday due to fire activity in the area. One vehicle was consumed by the fire.  

The historic Baring Creek Cabin, a National Park Service backcountry cabin, was lost due to the fire. No other structures have been burned, and no injuries have been reported.

All interpretive programs in the St. Mary Valley are cancelled until further notice. There is a temporary flight restriction over the fire area.

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

Fire information phone lines have been established at 406-732-7791 and 406-732-7790. An email account has also been established for fire-related inquiries at reynoldscreekfire@gmail.com. The Inciweb website, http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/, is another source of fire information for the Reynolds Creek Wildland Fire.

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.