On March 27, 1980, a series of volcanic explosions and pyroclastic flows began at Mount St. Helens. A series of phreatic blasts occurred from the summit of Mount St. Helens and escalated until a major explosive eruption took place on May 18, 1980. The eruption, which had a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 5, was the most significant to occur in the contiguous United States since the much smaller 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak in California.
Today, over 37 years later, with the skies filled with smoke from numerous fires along the PNW corridor, the mountain remains dormant as the surrounding area continues to recover. It is truly an incredibly long process. Yet on this particular evening it is more reminiscent of its fiery history.