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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

St. Mary Visitor Center Reopens, Glacier Fire 30% Contained

Smoke over St. Mary Lake, July 26, 2015.
Smoke over St. Mary Lake, July 26, 2015.

Glacier National Park’s St. Mary Visitor Center reopens this morning.

Fire officials say the Reynolds Creek Fire now stands at  over 3,200 acres with 30 percent containment.The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains closed from the St. Mary Visitor Center to Big Bend on the west side of the Divide; that’s about 18-miles.

Park officials hope to extend the open section of the road from the west side on Wednesday by three miles, allowing visitors to access the top of Logan Pass.

The St. Mary Campground, the Rising Sun Motor Inn, the Rising Sun Campground and Logan Pass are not yet open to the public.

The St. Mary Visitor Center at the east entrance to Glacier National Park reopens this morning. Hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Park Superintendent Jeff Mow spoke yesterday at the community building in West Glacier Sunday night.

"You know there really is never a good time for an event like this, events like these. They are very disruptive to our lives, your lives, your businesses, our visitors. And so needless to say, our desire is to resolve these sorts of things. Its adding stress at an already stressful time already, it’s the busiest  time of  the year for all of us."

Mow says the Reynolds fire is a big deal, but is only affecting a tiny part of the park.

"Its definitely having an impact. I have personal friends that are coming to visit. ‘Should we come’. Well sure you should come. The amount of the park being affected by this is very small."

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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