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Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406-888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT.- Officials at Glacier National Park report that the Red Eagle Fire made a large gain in acreage this afternoon, and the fire has jumped U.S. 89 south of St. Mary. The exact size of the fire cannot be estimated at this time, but will be provided when conditions permit. This afternoon, down-canyon wind shifts prompted the park to evacuate the St. Mary housing and the maintenance area. Officials also closed the Going-to-the-Sun (Sun) Road from St. Mary to Rising Sun. Visitors can still access the park from other locations and the Sun Road is open from the west entrance to Rising Sun.
Further, the Montana Department of Transportation has closed Highway 89 from Cut Bank Creek to Duck Lake Road.
Local residents leaving the town of St. Mary are being asked to check-in at the Cut Bank Creek Boarding School, which is located five miles north of Browning to let officials know that they have left the St. Mary area. A shelter is being established at the Boarding School.
A Type II team has begun arriving at Glacier and it will take responsibility for the fire Sunday morning. Currently, the park’s wildland fire crew and outside crews are working under a Type III incident commander from Alaska on this fire. Park staff is also working to protect structures. Additional resources have been ordered, and will be dispatched to the fire when they become available.