Red Eagle Fire On The Run
Today's news from the fire lines in Glacier National Park is not good, as the Red Eagle Fire has figuratively, if not literally, exploded in size. While the fire's size was estimated at about 765 acres at mid-morning yesterday morning, officials now say it's covering roughly 9,000 acres.
Winds drove the fire across U.S. 89 just south of St. Mary's yesterday afternoon and led to the road's closure. Officials also evacuated St. Mary's, moving folks out of the town as well as out of surrounding campgrounds. Hopefully the fire won't roar through St. Mary's, which is the eastern gateway to Glacier.
The head of the fire is about a mile wide, but the "active fire front" is estimated to be 10-12 miles long. No official cause has been determined.
More than 100 firefighters are working the fire and are being supported by a helicopter, 14 fire engines, two bulldozers and two water tenders. Officials have requested more air support in the form of additional helicopters, slurry bombers and air tankers, but equipment is short this summer due to the many fires burning across the West.
With a dry cold front expected to pass through the area today, the fire could spread rapidly.
You can check out the scene via Glacier's web cam at the St. Mary's Visitor Center.