Montana on fire

The Pine Creek fire from Hwy 89.

It's been a hot, dry summer everywhere and Montana is no exception. Fires in Hyalite Canyon, Rosebud, near Butte and around the state blanket the news. Governor Schweitzer declared a statewide emergency today.

In Park County, where we live, there have been several smallish fires. But today, a big one erupted. There is a lot of "information" floating around, so it's hard to know exactly what to believe. We drove down the valley this evening to check out the Pine Creek fire.

We couldn't get very close, nor did we want to, but were still shocked by the huge flames bouncing off the mountains. Even from a thousand or two thousand feet below we could see a wall of flames. It was intense.

We originally heard that the Pine Creek Lodge and Cafe had burned to the ground. It looks like that isn't true now, but thinking of losing that place that has so much personal and literary history really puts a lump in my throat...and my heart. Henry and I just celebrated our anniversary there (for the second year in a row) and so many famous authors have made it their hang out through the years.

Still, we have friends who are in danger of losing their homes, and our favorite trails may be up in smoke. Not to be too dramatic, but this one is personal.

Look closely and you can see the orange flames in the middle of the smoke.
Pine Creek Cafe--singed, but still standing. (From Livingston Firefighter Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=515099781850494&set=a.245352132158595.85600.243713118989163&type=1&theater)
Dave Walker Band playing at Pine Creek last weekend on our anniversary. So many great memories of this place.
Listening to music with friends at the Pine Creek Cafe.

UPDATE

Here's a picture of the fire from tonight (8.29.12 at 9:30 pm)

UPDATE 8.31.2012

For more photos, and good ones, check out this FB album.