Happy birthday Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park turns 100 today, May 11. In honor of the occasion the park held a Rededication Ceremony this morning. I just talked with Dave Soleim, the Fire Management Officer and an old buddy of mine, and he is serving as the Planning Section Chief for the Centennial activities in the park. There are seven live web cams in the park, including one that showed today’s ceremony.

The park was created during the infamous year of the Big Burn, 1910, during which huge fires raged across portions of Montana, Idaho, and Washington. This year western Montana is dry, and NICC has projected that the area will have “increasing to above normal fire potential” mid-July through August.

Glacier NP fire crew
Glacier NP firefighters

According to the Park’s web site, the fire staff consists of 16 people, including:

  • 1 Fire Management Officer,
  • 1 Fire Operations Specialist,
  • 1 Fire Ecologist,
  • 1 Prescribed Fire Specialist,
  • 1 Fire Program Assistant,
  • 1 Lead Fire Effects Monitor,
  • 1 Cache Manager,
  • 4 lookouts,
  • 3 engine crew personnel and
  • 2 fire effects monitors

The fire season of 2003 was a busy one for Glacier National Park. Several pages on their site are devoted to photos and videos of those fires.

Robert fire
Robert fire. A Burnout was conducted near the Fish Creek Campground and near Kelly Camp in an effort to reduce fuel sources from the advancing Robert Fire. This was taken across Lake McDonald.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.