Tag Archives: National Park forest fires

Smoke and fire in Glacier National Park

A few years ago we were heading home through Glacier National Park during a period when there were a couple of fires on the edge of Glacier’s northeast area. Most of the roads were closed but we managed to find another route that ended up putting the fire and its’ smoke between us and the sun. The sun was getting low and moving into a more golden phase which together with brown tint of the smoke from the fires produced some of the best light I’ve seen. Needless to say we made many stops to capture some amazing vistas of the mountains framing big sky under a golden brown mask of color.

We first saw the fires while approaching St. Mary’s Lake on the Going to the Sun Road, once we left the park
I spotted the combine parked in the field reflecting that golden brown light providing a good sense of the magnitude of the smoke from the fires outside of the park.

Ever since I lived in Oregon and did a lot of photography of mist covered mountain valleys, I’m always on the look out for the potential variations. The second photo is a variation on that theme only with smoke.

The smoke from the fires was settling into the ranch valleys, back lit by the sun providing an amazing cascade of tinted color. I used my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens zoomed out to 156 mm to foreshorten the scene, making the rolling hills and mountain background seem compressed.

The remainder of the photos show the extent of the smoke from the firesĀ  as well as the hot spots that helped spread the fire.

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