Glacier National Park Responds to 3 New Fires

Although fire managers report no structures are at risk, the half-acre fire near Bowman Lake prompted a closure of the Numa Lookout trail

By Tristan Scott
The Numa Ridge Lookout fire tower, with Bowman Lake beyond, as seen from Numa Ridge in Glacier National Park. Photo courtesy of Joe Haun | National Park Service

A flurry of wildfire activity in northwest Montana over the weekend didn’t spare Glacier National Park, where firefighters on Monday were responding to three new starts west of the Continental Divide, according to public affairs officer Gina Icenoggle.

Among the 67 active fires reported in Montana in the last 24 hours are the Kishenehn Creek and Bowman North fires burning in an area of the park just east of the North Fork Flathead River, not far from the U.S.-Canada border. A third fire, dubbed the Brushy Incident, is burning along McDonald Creek between Packer’s Roost and Mineral Creek, in the scar of the 2003 Robert Fire.

According to Icenoggle, all three fires are between one-tenth of an acre and one-half an acre in size, but few other details were available Monday afternoon as small modules of firefighters were still assessing the situation.

The Bowman North fire on Monday prompted the closure of the Numa Lookout trail that takes hikers from the west shore of Bowman Lake to the fire lookout. Icenoggle said the fire is burning close to the trail and is located “midslope” below the ridge. A Type 1 helicopter is dropping water on the blaze, and five additional Glacier Park firefighters are preparing to join the module that’s already in place.

Another module of seven to 10 firefighters arrived last night on the Kishinehn Creek incident and built a fire line around it, Icenoggle said. The module of fire personnel camped on the blaze overnight to keep an eye on its activity. The fire was declared “contained” Monday afternoon and firefighters were mopping it up.

A third module hiked into the Brushy Incident Monday morning, Icenoggle said. That fire is burning between the Packer’s Roost trail to Flattop Mountain and Mineral Creek, and while the fire is close to the trail Icenoggle said no values are threatened. Firefighters estimated its size at about 10 feet by 10 feet.

Icenoggle did not immediately know the cause of the fires.