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Reward offered for suspicious Glacier fires

Reward offered for suspicious Glacier fires

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GNP Ford's Creek patrol cabin

GNP Ford's Creek patrol cabin

Landowners along Glacier National Park’s northern border have offered a $10,000 reward for information about a string of suspected arson fires.

At least eight fires appeared early on the morning of July 23 north of the Polebridge Ranger station, Glacier’s northwestern entrance. The first was reported by residents near the ranger station, while staff at the lookout tower on Numa Ridge reported the second near Ford Creek, south of Kintla Lake. Fire crews eventually found eight fires along the Inside North Fork Road between Logging Creek and Kintla Lake, according to park spokeswoman Gina Kerzman.

Although most of the fires were started on dry logs or brush and quickly extinguished by National Park Service firefighters, one blaze destroyed the historic Ford Creek administrative cabin. The 1928 structure was a total loss, Kerzman said.

Two other suspicious fires were reported on July 22. One was at the Glacier Gateway Elementary School and the second was close to the Summit Mountain Lodge at Marias Pass. Investigators are working to see if the incidents are related to the North Fork fires.

Anyone witnessing suspicious activity on the night of July 22 or early morning of July 23 in the Polebridge or North Fork area is encouraged to call Flathead Crimestoppers at 406-752-TIPS (8477).  All calls remain anonymous. Glacier National Park also has a tip line established, 406-888-7077.

The North Fork Landowners Association has offered the $10,000 reward, which will be paid for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for the fires.

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