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Old 07-22-2015, 05:23 PM   #1
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Glacier National Park Fire

Here's a link:

Glacier National Park wildfire forces tourists to leave cars | The Seattle Times

You might have to change plans if traveling that direction. Keep informed.
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:49 AM   #2
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Fires are a part of nature and the outdoors. I'd not change plans to visit Glacier because of a fire, perhaps adjust where you visit for a day or two, but that's about it. I taught graduate courses in and about Yellowstone for almost 20 years and the '88 fires and the new understanding of fire and it's part in the natural cycle of the earth was a major part of the course. (Miami University of Ohio, science education)

The '88 fires of Yellowstone had people believing the park was in danger of being destroyed, political pressure forced a great show of trying to 'fight' the fire. The fire won. So did visitors that year and subsequent years as the fires brought forth wildflowers, renewed forests and a small animal population explosion that then brought more large animals to feed on the small.

The '88 fires probably wouldn't have been as large if decades of Smoky Bear teaching to 'Prevent forest fires' hadn't been the way of the NPS and Forest Service. There's been a major shift in fire philosophy since then. Fires actually benefit the national parks and forests.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Here's a link:

Glacier National Park wildfire forces tourists to leave cars | The Seattle Times

You might have to change plans if traveling that direction. Keep informed.
They have closed campgrounds and evacuated the town of Mary Lake. I think the advise to keep informed is appropriate. They have also closed a significant part of Going to the Sun Road, one of the major tourist draws.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:18 PM   #4
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We drove part of Going to the Sun today from West Glacier. Absolutely clear sky
and worth coming to the west side of Glacier. We got as far as Logan's pass where the road then closed. The range said they are getting some control of the fire and that the road is closed mainly to allow the firefighters on the ground and in the air to do their job.
There is so much to see that we will come back to see the east side some other time.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Fires are a part of nature and the outdoors. I'd not change plans to visit Glacier because of a fire, perhaps adjust where you visit for a day or two, but that's about it. I taught graduate courses in and about Yellowstone for almost 20 years and the '88 fires and the new understanding of fire and it's part in the natural cycle of the earth was a major part of the course. (Miami University of Ohio, science education)

The '88 fires of Yellowstone had people believing the park was in danger of being destroyed, political pressure forced a great show of trying to 'fight' the fire. The fire won. So did visitors that year and subsequent years as the fires brought forth wildflowers, renewed forests and a small animal population explosion that then brought more large animals to feed on the small.

The '88 fires probably wouldn't have been as large if decades of Smoky Bear teaching to 'Prevent forest fires' hadn't been the way of the NPS and Forest Service. There's been a major shift in fire philosophy since then. Fires actually benefit the national parks and forests.
You are correct. Fires are a part of nature, and in the big picture, the can be quite beneficial. However, I suspect that you have not had much experience with them.

I have been involved with many controlled burns, and I can assure you that they are not at all pleasant. Even with a respirator, the smoke is very irritating.

At the end of Aug. 2013, DW and I were in the Bighorn Mountains, and decided to head for the Beartooth and Yellowstone. We knew that there were fires burning in Idaho, but that seemed too far off to worry about. Were we wrong!

In the Beartooth, the smoke cut down the visibility some, but it was tolerable. In Yellowstone, the visibility was even lower, and smell of smoke was constant. We accepted the circumstances, and stayed for two weeks.

Next, we headed to Grand Teton National Park. The conditions there were much worse. There was so much smoke, that driving down Teton Park Road, we couldn't see a single mountain. As a matter of fact, we couldn't see much of anything. We gave uu and headed dowt to southern Utah.

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Old 07-23-2015, 08:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by J Birder View Post
You are correct. Fires are a part of nature, and in the big picture, the can be quite beneficial. However, I suspect that you have not had much experience with them.

Joel
I've hiked into fires with an Indian backpack tank and fire rake, done a bit of controlled burns and helped set fire lines. I was just remarking that the fact that there was fire in Glacier isn't a reason to avoid the park, just be prepared and stay informed. In the over 20 years I've been traveling in and around YNP and GTNP I've seen many days the mountains are hidden, from local and distant fires. I've twice encountered visitors in YNP ranting about the cost to taxpayers of planting all the pine trees in the burn areas. I gently inform then that Lodgepole Pine is adapted to fire and has serotinous cones that stay on the trees for years until fire raises the temperature to about 113 and release the stored seeds onto the freshly cleared forest floor. It's nature reseeding the trees, not the government.

In the Yellowstone fire of 1988, when over 1/4 of the park burned for over 3 months, the park was closed on one day, Sept. 8. The only time the park has ever been closed. I certainly wouldn't avoid Glacier because of a fire.
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:40 PM   #7
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There is still a lot to see and do here. We are staying in west glacier and have hiked a different trail everyday. 27 miles of the going to the sun road is all that is open and you cannot get to Logan's pass. There is still lots of area open.

If you don't have a reservation, the closures on the st. Mary side have overloaded the campgrounds, but this morning we saw openings at apgar campground. The park we are in has a few open spots as do several in Coram.

We have seen a lot more wildlife on the west side the past few days than ever before.

On the east side you can still visit Many Glacier and Two Medicine.
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:44 PM   #8
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The fire is now 20% contained and there is a rumor that the gts road will be open tomorrow.


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