A forest fire in the remote, southeast corner of Glacier National Park was downsized from an estimated 500 acres to a more accurate 150 acres on Monday.

Glacier firefighters were also responding to a second fire burning about a quarter-acre near mile marker 11.5 on the North Fork Road. That fire was reported Monday morning, and has both ground crews and aircraft assigned to it.

The Thompson fire is burning in the Nyack area of Glacier Park, roughly midway between Lake McDonald and Two Medicine Lake. Park officials have closed the Nyack and Coal Creek trails and a section of trail from Nyack Creek to Cut Bank Pass.

Smoke from the fire was visible from the St. Mary Visitor Center, about 20 air miles to the northeast.

Park spokeswoman Katie Liming said helicopters were dispatched to prevent the Thompson fire’s spread.

“But we don’t think we will put a ground crew on it yet,” Liming said. “It’s a full-suppression fire, but it’s in remote and rugged terrain.”

The Reynolds Creek fire along St. Mary Lake remained at 67 percent containment Monday after burning 4,311 acres.

Last week, park officials allowed vehicle traffic to resume on the east side of Going-to-the-Sun Road through the burned area. Drivers are not allowed to stop while traveling the east side, and trails in the area remain closed.

However, visitor services and boat tours at Rising Sun have resumed operation.


Kootenai National Forest firefighters and Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies responded to three human-caused fires in the Eureka area between 11 p.m. Aug. 5 and 1:30 a.m. Aug. 6.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the Lincoln County sheriff’s Eureka Office at (406) 297-2121. The fires were all located along the Black Lake Road near Eureka.

Red-flag weather conditions were in effect Monday and are likely to persist across much of western Montana for the rest of the week.

National Weather Service forecasts call for high temperatures in the 90s for many western Montana valleys and in the 100s for parts of central Idaho by Wednesday or Thursday.

The incoming weather system is expected to produce strong outflow winds possibly exceeding 50 mph, with frequent lightning and increasing chances of heavy rain.

Storms are expected to bring more moisture by Wednesday and Thursday. Those afternoons and evenings are forecast to be the most active thunderstorm periods.

Another system bringing cold air should swing through the region Friday, prompting cooler temperatures for the weekend but gusty winds on that day.

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Natural Resources & Environment Reporter

Natural Resources Reporter for The Missoulian.