Rain Aids Firefighters at Essex

Firefighters take the BNSF train to work while on the Thompson-Divide Complex Fire (Photo by Wayne Brown)

Weather: Sheep and Granite fires received up to .25 inches of rain last night. Low pressure weather patterns will continue to affect the area thru the weekend, with the possibility of air operations being limited by a low ceiling today. Maximum temperatures will be in the low 60s. Winds are forecast to be lighter today, with a 90% chance of showers. Continued minimal fire activity through the weekend is expected due to increased moisture in fuels and weather conditions.

The Sheep Fire is about 1 mile south of Essex and about 1/8 mile from the train tracks between Tank Creek and McDonald Creek. The fire again showed little activity yesterday, and is estimates at 2,171 acres. While homes, cabins and the Izaak Walton Inn remain at risk, no structures have been lost. Firefighters will continue to patrol and put out hotspots in the Sheep Creek and Tank Creek drainages and remove hoses and pumps from the snowshed and rail yard in Essex. Structural protection measures are in place in Essex.

The Granite Fire is 913 acres, and has seen little fire activity the past few days. One engine and crew are using existing roads to monitor the fire’s activity

The Thompson Fire is estimated at18,845 acres in remote southern backcountry of Glacier National Park about 15 miles east of the West Glacier entrance in the Thompson and Nyack drainages west of the Continental Divide. Monitoring of fire activity will continue with aircraft.
Most of Glacier National Park is unaffected by this wildfire complex and is available for recreational use. The Thompson Fire has not impacted park roads. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open.