(UPDATE at 8:30 a.m. MT, July 28, 2015)
Undated NPS photo of the Reynolds Creek Fire, Glacier National Park.
The Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier National Park in northwest Montana has been relatively quiet recently due to occasional rain. Heavy thundershowers on Monday kept helicopters on the ground for part of the day, but transported cargo when conditions permitted.
Firefighters are removing hazardous trees along Going-to-the-Sun Road which remains closed. Other areas closed include Logan Pass, the Rising Sun Motor Inn, and the Rising Sun Campground.
(UPDATE at 11:45 a.m. MT, July 26, 2015)
A Skycrane helicopter drops on the Reynolds Fire. Undated photo from InciWeb.
For the last two days, firefighters, aided by the weather, have been able to minimize any additional growth of the Reynolds Creek Fire burning in Glacier National Park in northwest Montana.
On Saturday crews took advantage of cooler temperatures to build new fireline and reinforce other lines along the St. Mary River, and extinguished spot fires near the southwest edge of the fire. Firefighters began laying hose along firelines to assist with mopup from Rising Sun to the northeast end of the fire.
Fireline explosives will be used Sunday to build fireline in an avalanche chute containing heavy brush and downed logs. The sound of the blast will be audible in the town of St. Mary, and is expected in the early afternoon.
The explosive firefighters use is about 1¼ inches in diameter and 50 feet long; it looks like a long strand of sausage links. The rope-like material is filled with a gel-like PETN material that explodes at 22,000 feet per second after being ignited with one detonation cap. Since the material comes in 50-foot sections, it can be laid out as far as a crew wants to build fire line. It is stored on spools which allow it to be unrolled as firefighters walk over the desired location for the fireline.
The Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Greg Poncin, reports that the fire has burned 3,158 acres.
In addition to blowing things up, Sunday personnel on the fire will also continue direct attack supported by aircraft, and expect to be dropping snags and clearing debris near the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
(UPDATE at 9:21 a.m. MT, July 25, 2015)
The Reynolds Creek Fire not long after it started on July 21, 2015. Photo by park volunteer Pam Smith.
The Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier National Park has not spread a great deal over the last two days. More accurate mapping shows that it has burned about 3,100 acres. Examples of some of these more accurate maps are below. Click on them to see larger versions.
3-D map of the Reynolds Creek Fire, 10 p.m. July 24, 2015.