After a Sunday evening patrol flight, fire managers detected a wildfire in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The updated incident overview estimates that the Rapid Creek Fire has grown to 1000 acres. Smoke from the fire is visible from the south-east end of the Flathead Valley. The fire started in the upper Rapid Creek drainage in the Spotted Bear Ranger District. This area is a closed canopy area, with heavy mortality in the timber from mountain pine beetle and over agents. The winds and topography pushed the fire to the east. It has reached the Flathead Forest and Lewis & Clark forest boundary, and has become established in the Rocky Mountain Ranger District.
There are trail closures in place for public and fire fighter safety:
* Rapid Creek Trail # 139
* Fiction Creek Trail # 272
* Obervation Pass Trail # 246
* South Fork of the Sun Trail # 202
* Ellis Creek Trail # 227.
The growth potential for the Rapid Creek Fire is rated as high.
Lightning strikes over the past week have ignited at least four other new fires on the Flathead National Forest (all less than 3 acres at this point). For more information, please visit the Flathead Forest website, or the InciWeb page for Montana.
Glacier National Park Hiking