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Glacier Park reports three small fires

| July 31, 2023 1:30 PM

Crews were working to extinguish a few small fires in Glacier National Park today.

Spokeswoman Gina Icenoggle said the fires are all less than a tenth of an acre.

There was a small fire in the Kishenehn drainage up the North Fork. Firefighters reached the fire on foot late last night, got a line around it and camped at it to make sure it didn’t spread. It's considered contained.

On Numa Peak a small fire was burning midslope relatively close to the trail. A small group of firefighters are going in on foot Monday to put it out. Glacier has closed the trail to Numa Peak Lookout as a precaution. A helicopter was also dumping water on the fire.

The fire is called the North Bowman Fire.

Then on McDonald Creek there was a small fire in the bottom of the valley between Packer's Roost and Mineral Creek, within the 2003 burn. The fire was close to the trail and a small group of firefighters were going in on foot Monday to put it out. Efforts to contain it had been successful so far.

Saturday and Sunday evening both saw thunderstorms in the region, so more fires could pop up.

The Kalispell area is more than 5 inches below normal precipitation for the year.

There was also a small fire burning near Emery Creek along the Hungry Horse Reservoir. That is under control.

The larger fires are south of here.

A wildfire west of Elmo raced across Montana 28 on Sunday, leaving a scorched swath of 5,000 acres in its wake.

The Niarada Fire was fanned to the northeast by gusty winds Sunday evening that reach 35 mph. Its perimeter on Monday morning extended from south of the highway, across Niarada Lane to Browns Meadow Road to the north. The fire’s west flank hugs the Flathead and Sanders county line.

The fast-moving fire caused the closure of Montana 28 on Sunday afternoon. The highway remained closed Monday between mile markers 16.3 and 46.72.

Smokejumpers, ground crews and equipment were working to control the fire with air support, according to a Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Division of Fire update Monday morning.

The Niarada Fire was one of many to crop up following a dry lightning storm on Saturday.

The Middle Ridge Fire west of Sloan’s Bridge and Ronan was sized at 7,000 acres on Monday.

The Communication Butte Fire had burned 400 acres north of Dixon in steep terrain along the Moiese Valley. That fire caused the closure of the Bison Range on Sunday.

The Big Knife Fire east of Arlee blew up to 3,000 acres on Sunday. Fire crews were focused on securing control lines on the west flank near homes. Canal Road from Mountain Home Road to the Jocko Canyon Road remained closed.

A complex incident management team was ordered to assume command of the fire on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Colt Fire burning north of Seeley Lake continued to draw a massive firefighting response over the weekend.

Nearly 590 firefighters were assigned to the incident that had burned more than 6,100 acres on the Lolo and Flathead national forests as of Monday morning.