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2017 News Headlines on the Wildfires…
Glacier National Park:
August 31: Sperry Chalet, a National Historic Landmark built in 1913, burned to the ground in the raging Sprague wildfire.
September 3: Going to the Sun Road closed on the west side, from Logan Pass down to Lake MacDonald, with evacuation orders in place.
September 7th: A unique area of rainforest and Old Cedar & Hemlock trees thought to be from the 1500’s are in danger of also being destroyed if the fires continue on…
September 5: Park closed and voluntary evacuations of the townsite issued due to the spreading Kenow Fire coming from nearby British Columbia.
Other fires are still burning throughout Glacier National Park, many western states, and Canada. The drought and exceptionally high temperatures in the area are perfect conditions for fires to start, of which most are caused by lightning strikes.
Wow, we were just there 2 weeks ago!
Before leaving on our 2 week trip to Montana & the Canadian Rockies to visit the National Parks in the area, I had heard a little bit about wildfires burning in Glacier National Park. It was nothing major at the time, although I was slightly worried about what we might run into.
On the plane ride, a man from Calgary who was traveling back home there told us that usually you can see the mountains way off in the distance, but now the visibility wasn’t that great because of all the smoke.
After we landed and drove towards the mountains, Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada being our first stop, it smelled like campfires in the air. Getting out of the car, small bits of ash blew around us, and the visibility, although not that bad at the time, was smoky in the distance.
Driving through the various parks, we saw a lot of dead, burned trees along the mountainsides from previous wildfires. It’s actually a normal part of the ecosystem of these forests to have fire to clear away the dead fallen trees, branches, and underbrush that piles up. It also causes certain seed pods to open so that new trees can grow.
The problem of fire isn’t necessarily a bad thing for nature, but mostly for humans that inhabit these areas. Hopefully rain will come soon to western North America and give relief.
Probably the worse bit of smoke we drove through was on our way from the town of Golden to Mount Revelstoke in British Columbia. We were driving on Trans-Canada Route 1, and it was so thick with white smoke all around you could barely see the mountainsides that were close by. It cleared up after we got to Roger’s Pass in Glacier National Park of Canada.
As we made our way towards Banff, smoke from the Verdant Creek wildfire was still pretty strong, having been burning since July 15th. The mountains in these areas are beyond beautiful, even with the smoke from the wildfires hiding some of them.
There are so many natural disasters going on in the world today. As of September 8th, these wildfires in western North America are still going on, terrible hurricanes and floods in the south east, an earthquake that just hit Mexico! And all this just in the western hemisphere! The only way we can get through rough times is to band together and help each other. We can’t always rely on our governments for aid either, so if any of these tragedies touch your heart, try to help in some way if you can. Those in need will be grateful for any support!
These wildfires aren’t getting enough coverage throughout the country. Let people know about them!