Friday, July 31, 2015

Employee Dormitory Fire Causes One Death & Injures Four Others in Grand Teton

One person died and four others were injured during an early morning structural fire at the Grand Teton Lodge Company's Colter Bay employee dormitory in Grand Teton National Park. A quick response by Grand Teton's structural firefighters and personnel from Jackson Hole Fire/EMS helped contain the fire to a single dorm room. Adjacent rooms sustained smoke damage. Approximately 70 people were evacuated from the two-story dormitory building and all were assessed for injuries and/or smoke inhalation by park EMS providers.

Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received an emergency call at 12:04 a.m. Friday, July 31, and immediately summoned multiple structural firefighters and equipment to the scene. The first responders used fire extinguishers in an attempt to suppress the blaze before fully-equipped park and county fire response teams could arrive.

A Grand Teton National Park fire engine stationed at Colter Bay arrived within 10 minutes of the call for help. Firefighters with Engine 2 were informed that at least one person and possibly others were still inside the dormitory on the second floor. They quickly located and carried out one individual, who was unresponsive, and helped evacuate others from the building. Although CPR was initiated on the unresponsive person—and paramedics continued CPR for nearly one hour—efforts to revive him proved unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Four other people were treated for minor injuries and smoke inhalation. They were transported to St. John's Medical Center in Jackson for further care.

One additional structural fire engine and three ambulances from Grand Teton National Park, plus one aerial ladder truck, one engine, and one water tender from Jackson Hole Fire/EMS arrived shortly after the first fire engine, and quickly joined the suppression efforts. Those additional fire resources were: Engine 1 from Moose HQ campus located 20 miles away;Engine 41 and Tender 47 from Station 4, located 10 miles away at Moran Junction;and Ladder Truck 16 from Jackson, located 35 miles away.

The fire was suppressed by 2:00 a.m. While most rooms were not affected by the fire, residents of the facility were temporarily housed in other locations as a safety precaution for the remainder of the evening.

The name of the deceased is being withheld until family notifications are provided. The cause of the fire has not been determined. A joint investigation will be conducted by Grand Teton National Park with the assistance of a Jackson Hole Fire/EMS investigator and a State of Wyoming fire investigator from Cheyenne. Further details are not available at this time.

Park managers and staff work closely with Jackson Hole Fire/EMS to provide structural fire response and support within Grand Teton National Park and the northern portions of Teton County. Men and women on the park and county response teams train together weekly to keep their skills and structural firefighting knowledge up to standard. This incident was handled by multiple firefighting personnel and equipment and resources, which minimized spread to adjacent structures and nearby forested areas.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Two-day Closures Scheduled for Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton

To accommodate a dust abatement application, a brief travel closure will be in place for about 48 hours, beginning 4 a.m. Tuesday, August 4, on the unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park. The road will reopen by 8 a.m. Thursday, August 6.

Motorists and bicyclists should plan to use an alternate route on August 4-5 as this temporary closure will prevent making a 'through trip' on the Moose-Wilson Road from Granite Canyon Entrance Station to the Teton Park Road at Moose, Wyoming. This is the second dust abatement treatment for the 2015 season.

For those wishing to reach the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve or Death Canyon Trailhead, access will only be possible by heading south from the Teton Park Road junction near the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.

To alert park visitors and local residents of the scheduled road closure, electronic signs will be placed on Wyoming Highway 390, beginning Monday, June 8. For travelers heading south to Teton Village from the Moose area, signs will also be placed at the junction of the Teton Park Road.

The product used for dust abatement is a slurry of magnesium chloride—the same product that is used to treat dirt roads in and around Jackson Hole. This product coats the road surface, but it can also adhere to the undercarriage of vehicles. Motorists who drive the unpaved portion of the Moose-Wilson Road after it reopens on Thursday may want to rinse off their vehicles to eliminate any residue.

Roadwork schedules may change, or be delayed, due to weather conditions, equipment malfunction, or other extenuating circumstances.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Glacier National Park Wildfire Now 63% Contained

The following are some key updates on the Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier National Park. The information comes from the Inciweb website, which was updated last night. Here are a few items:

 * The Reynolds Creek Fire is burning along the north shore of Saint Mary Lake, in rocky, rugged terrain and burning in timber, brush, and grass. Due to the return of seasonal drier and warmer conditions, fire fighters are expecting interior fire behavior to increase. It is believed at this time that the fire was human caused.

* There are currently 670 personnel fighting the fire at this time.

* The official size of the fire is now estimated to be 3170 acres. The fire is now 63% contained.

* The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains closed between the St. Mary entrance on the east side and Logan Pass. At this time visitors can reach Logan Pass from the west side. Visitors are encouraged to take the park shuttle due to extremely limited parking. You should expect delays and congestion. If the road becomes too congested, rangers may turn vehicles around at Big Bend or Avalanche Creek for public safety.

* The St. Mary Visitor Center is now open to the public. Hours are from 8 am to 6 pm. The St. Mary Campground, the Rising Sun Motor Inn, and the Rising Sun Campground remain closed.

* The Sperry Trail is open from Lake McDonald Lodge to Sperry Chalet and Gunsight Pass. Travel beyond the pass is closed due to the fire. Lake Ellen Wilson Backcountry site is open. The Loop Trail to Granite Park Chalet is also open.

* Also, the Red Eagle Drainage is open for hiking access to Red Eagle Lake, Triple Divide and the Beaver Ponds. St. Mary Lake Trail will remain closed.

Although the fire continues to burn in the St. Mary Valley, the rest of the park is still open, with tons of outstanding hiking opportunities available. Remember, the park is more than one million acres in size. The Two Medicine, Many Glacier, Belly River, Bowman Lake and Lake McDonald areas all provide hikes that offer epic Glacier National Park scenery. For more information on many of the hikes in these areas, please click here.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fire Investigation Team Looking for Information on Glacier Wildfire

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 21st, approximately six miles east of Logan Pass. To date, it has burned approximately 3,200 acres. As of this morning, the fire was 56% contained.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

West-Side Access to Logan Pass Planned For Tomorrow

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is planned to be open to Logan Pass from the west side of Glacier National Park tomorrow, Wednesday, July 29th. Visitors should expect delays and congestion along the road.

The east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road remains closed to Logan Pass due to the Reynolds Creek Fire. It is unknown when the east side of the road will open.

Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said, “Providing visitor access to Logan Pass is a priority for the park. It comes with some unique challenges as the east side of the road is closed due to the Reynolds Creek Fire, and we are in the peak of our visitor season.”

Mow said, “We always consider employee and visitor safety in our decisions and actions, as well as the logistical nuances. This is a unique situation and we respectfully request park visitors to be patient and flexible during this time.”

If the Going-to-the-Sun Road becomes too congested, park rangers may turn vehicles around at Big Bend or Avalanche Creek for public safety. Parking is limited at Logan Pass so visitors may not be able to park and go inside the visitor center.

Visitors are encouraged to use alternative transportation options to access Logan Pass, such as the park’s free shuttle system or concession-operated interpretive tours. The interpretive tours are conducted by park concessioners Glacier National Park Lodges and Sun Tours.

The Logan Pass Visitor Center is anticipated to be open. The hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice. The Highline Trail will be open, as well as the trail to the Hidden Lake Overlook and Hidden Lake. Logan Pass will be closed to overnight parking, and overnight parking along the Going-to-the-Sun Road is not encouraged at this time. Visitors will not be able to view the Reynolds Creek Fire from Logan Pass.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Almost Half of Glacier National Park Wildfire is Now Contained

The following are some key updates on the Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier National Park. The information comes from the Inciweb website, which was updated last night. Here are a few items:

 * The Reynolds Creek Fire is burning along the north shore of Saint Mary Lake, in rocky, rugged terrain and burning in timber, brush, and grass. Some areas of the fire received heavy thundershowers yesterday, while firefighters paid close attention to the potential for flash flooding and debris movement in the burn area. The weather is expected to return to seasonable temperatures by Thursday. Firefighters will continue to protect structures at Rising Sun.

* There are currently 691 personnel fighting the fire at this time.

* The official size of the fire is now estimated to be 3170 acres. The fire is now 45% contained.

* The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains closed between the St. Mary entrance on the east side and Big Bend on the west side. In a public meeting over the weekend, the park has indicated that they intend to open the road to Logan Pass from the west side.

* The St. Mary Visitor Center is now open to the public. Hours are from 8 am to 6 pm. The St. Mary Campground, the Rising Sun Motor Inn, and the Rising Sun Campground remain closed.

* The Sperry Trail is open from Lake McDonald Lodge to Sperry Chalet and Gunsight Pass. Travel beyond the pass is closed due to the fire. Lake Ellen Wilson Backcountry site is open. The Loop Trail to Granite Park Chalet is also open.

Although the fire continues to burn in the St. Mary Valley, the rest of the park is still open, with tons of outstanding hiking opportunities available. Remember, the park is more than one million acres in size. The Two Medicine, Many Glacier, Belly River, Bowman Lake and Lake McDonald areas all provide hikes that offer epic Glacier National Park scenery. For more information on many of the hikes in these areas, please click here.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Monday, July 27, 2015

Two Climbers Take Sliding Fall on Middle Teton

On Saturday, July 25th, two climbers fell and slid on a patch of snow while descending from the Dike Pinnacle on the south face of the Middle Teton in Grand Teton National Park. The climbers, Jordan Lister and Carrie Schwartz, both 25 and residents of Jackson, Wyoming, slid approximately 200 feet on snow and rocky terrain before coming to a stop on a grassy ledge. Lister sustained serious injuries requiring an evacuation by helicopter, while Schwartz sustained minor injuries.

Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a call for assistance at 5:22 p.m. from Schwartz. Park rangers quickly responded from the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache at Lupine Meadows. They were joined by the Teton Interagency contract helicopter, which had been assisting with an extensive search for a missing person near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. The helicopter was able to land relatively near to the grassy ledge and insert three park rangers who made a short climb to reach the injured climbers. Rangers provided medical care while preparations were made for an expeditious short-haul evacuation of Lister.

Lister and an attending park ranger were short-hauled from the grassy ledge directly to the rescue cache on the valley floor just before sunset. There, Lister was transferred to a waiting park ambulance and transported to St. John's Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming. The helicopter then returned to the site of the accident and short-hauled Schwartz and the two remaining rangers to the rescue cache. The rescue mission was completed shortly after 9:00 p.m., just before darkness would have made further operations impossible.

Short-haul is a rescue technique where an individual is suspended below the helicopter on a 100 to 200 foot rope. This method is often used in the Teton Range where conditions make it difficult to land a helicopter because of the rugged and precipitous terrain.

The fall occurred while the two climbers were descending on snow about 400 feet below the summit of the Dike Pinnacle. This type of fall—one that occurs while descending on snow—is a very common cause of mountaineering-related injuries in Grand Teton National Park. Rangers encourage climbers to pay special attention while descending on snow, and to wear helmets whenever moving about in the vertical terrain of the Teton Range where rockfalls, or a slip and fall in rock-strewn areas, can pose a danger.

This rescue was the second helicopter-assisted rescue mission of the day in the park. Rangers also flew a climber who had become ill from the Lower Saddle of the Grand Teton around 7:30 on Saturday morning.

After completing this rescue, the Teton Interagency contract helicopter flew to Yellowstone to assist with the continuing search efforts for the missing person.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com