Skyland Fire Photo Essay

By Beacon Staff

Highway 2 was a revolving door Sunday due to the 5000 acre Skyland fire.

When the road was open, pilot cars led bumper to bumper traffic at 35 mph from just outside of East Glacier to the flats near Zip’s Cabin – where it was released to travel normally.

More info on the Skyland fire is available at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/877/

Viewed from Highway 2 just east of Browning (aptly named today), smoke from the Skyland fire shrouds the eastern range of Glacier Park. Photo by Mark Riffey

As we returned from the smoky Montana Federation of Swimmers Western Divisionals in Cut Bank on Sunday evening, budding photojournalist Alex Riffey captured the following during the drive home.

With the Marias Pass obelisk in the foreground, the Skyland fire appears in the distance. Photo by Alex Riffey

Approaching from the North on US 2 shortly after cresting Marias pass, the Skyland Fire rages just off the road to the East. Photo by Alex Riffey

As the drive continues, an ominous dark column climbs skyward from the Skyland fire. Photo by Alex Riffey

Just before a water drop, a firefighting bomber comes in low, after following a scout plane to her target. Photo by Alex Riffey

At the end of the West Glacier-bound pilot car escort area, East Glacier-bound drivers are backed up over a mile, waiting for their turn to get past the fire. Photo by Alex Riffey