GNP: The Thompson Fire Creates Visible Smoke Column
The following information is from Glacier National Park, and current as of Tuesday afternoon, August 11, 2014. This morning (Wed, Aug 13) the fire is estimated at 11,400 acres.
WEST GLACIER, MONT. –The Thompson Fire started on August 9th and continues burning in the remote Nyack area, located in the south-central region of the Glacier National Park. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The lack of moisture, high temperatures, low humidity, and dry vegetation have resulted in extreme fire behavior and fire growth. The Thompson Fire is now estimated to be 5,500 acres this afternoon. The smoke plume is visible from areas on both the west and east sides of the Continental Divide.
A Type III Interagency Incident Command Team is working with Glacier National Park to respond to the fire. There are currently 35 fire personnel and two helicopters assigned, with additional air resources available. A Type II Incident Management Team has been ordered.
The Team is using contain and confine strategy to manage the fire. This is being accomplished by using aerial resources with water bucket drops to cool hotspots. Fire managers are using natural (rocky) barriers to confine the fire. The National Park Service Upper and Lower Nyack Backcountry Patrol Cabins remain threatened by the fire. Containment actions are being taken to protect the lower cabin. These actions include fuel mitigation actions around the site and structure wrap of the cabin.
The safety of public and incident personnel is the highest priority on all incidents. At this time, ground resources cannot be safely used due to the remote, rugged terrain and the lack of safety zones in the area.
The Thompson Fire has prompted closure of the Nyack and Coal Creek areas, including trails and backcountry campsites. There will be additional trail closures in the area due to increased fire activity. For updated information on trail status, click HERE.
The Reynolds Creek Fire continues to burn within the fire perimeter on the east side of the park. For information on fires within Glacier National Park, please click HERE.