Saturday, September 18, 2021

Avoid the Camas Road

by By Larry Wilson
| August 4, 2021 9:30 AM

Yes, it is still hot, smoke still hides Glacier’s peaks from view on most days and the Hay Creek Fire continues to skunk around and grow daily. It is now over 2,000 acres but firefighters’ strategy has continued to keep it contained away from private property and the odds of that continuing are better with each passing day. Heavy equipment improves the fire breaks ahead of the fire every day and increases the chance of stopping the fire from moving east toward populated areas. 

In the meantime, private landowners work on preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. Valuables have been moved out of harm’s way, evacuation routes have been identified and advance warning protocols are in place. 

On the plus side, Flathead County graders and water trucks spent a long day grading the road from Canyon Creek to Camas Bridge. The next day dust abatement (MgCl) was put on the road and it is now dust-free and smooth enough to travel faster and safer. It is still important to drive safely due to the increased number of large trucks hauling firefighting equipment. 

With the North Fork Road in great shape, I advise avoiding the Camas Road. This week I had a 20-minute delay on Camas Road for roadwork, another 10-minute at Apgar and yet another delay on U.S. 2 once I left the Park. Also, with long lines traffic was slow when you were moving. 

It will be interesting to see if tourist traffic remains heavy with the fire activity but for sure we are likely to have another eight weeks of fire season — or more. Anyone that can do a rain dance should start immediately. 

In the meantime, North Fork activities including church serves will continue as scheduled. A good sign that there is no reason to panic. Maybe we will get early snow!