Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Thompson Fire Expands to 11,400 acres

Updated as of 9:00 pm MST:

The Thompson Fire, started on August 9th in the remote Nyack area, located in the south-central region of Glacier National Park, has multiplied in size by 6 times over the last 24 hours. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

The lack of moisture, high temperatures, low humidity, and dry vegetation have resulted in extreme fire behavior and fire growth. The fire is now estimated to be 11,400 acres as of this evening. 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 within the area.

The wildfire 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 within the park, please click here.

The Reynolds Creek Fire also continues to burn within the fire perimeter on the east side of the park. For more information on this fire, please click here.

Although three wildfires are currently burning in Glacier, the rest of the park is still open with tons of outstanding hiking opportunities still available. Remember, the park is more than one million acres in size, and there's still plenty of epic Glacier National Park scenery to explore. For more information on many of the hikes in these areas, please click here.


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