Backcountry Fire Restrictions Lifted
Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Officials at Glacier National Park report that Glacier's specific restrictions on campfires in backcountry sites have been rescinded. Campfires are once again allowed in all front and backcountry sites with designated fire grates. Visitors are reminded that campfires should be "dead out" prior to departing the campsite. The ban on smoking in the backcountry has also been lifted; visitors can once again smoke beyond trailheads. The decision to lift these restrictions is based upon recent rain and snow activity, and corresponds to the lifting of the Stage 1 fire restrictions in Northwest Montana.
Despite the recent rain, officials anticipate that portions of the Red Eagle Fire will still contain heat. The fire could continue to produce isolated smoke during dry periods but significant future growth is not expected. The Red Eagle Fire will not be called "out" until the St. Mary area receives significant amounts of snow.
Officials also note that a new fire, located by Numa Lookout on September 12, is being managed as a Wildland Fire Use for Resource Benefit. The ‘Lower Quartz Fire’ is approximately 0.6 miles southeast of the foot of Lower Quartz Lake. It was started by lightning on August 10; however, the fire held over in a large larch tree for over a month. The fire is burning on the edge of the 1988 Red Bench Fire in a larch overstory with thick lodgepole pine and larch regeneration. Fire monitors mapped the fire at 2.7 acres just before the weather changed. The Polebridge area has received about 0.67 inches of rain in the last two days with some snow above 5,500 feet. There are no closures due to this fire.
Some benefits of the Lower Quartz Fire are fuel reduction and increased diversity in vegetation, which leads to diverse wildlife habitat and maintenance of fire dependent plant species.
Did You Know?
Did you know that eight inches of snow fell during one night in Glacier's high country in August, 2005? The weather forced hundreds of backpackers out of the backcountry.