Fire forces evacuations of popular Glacier Park areas

Fire forces evacuations of popular Glacier Park areas

TUESDAY, Sept. 5, 2017 — Glacier National Park officials ordered everyone to leave areas of the park on Sunday due to the growth of the lightning-caused Sprague fire as it spread into the Lincoln Creek drainage. As of Monday morning the fire had covered more than 13,300 acres.

According to KPAX, the current evacuation area includes the Lake McDonald Lodge area, the Sprague Creek campground, the Avalanche Campground and about 55 residences.

The park’s historic Sperry Chalet was lost in the Sprague Fire just days ago and now officials are concerned the fire could spread to the Lake McDonald Lodge area.

Fire Information Officer Diane Sine says out of a concern for safety an evacuation order is now in place in the Lake McDonald Lodge area triggered by increased fire activity and a possible wind shift.

All residents and visitors from the south end of Lake McDonald north to Logan Pass, are under an evacuation order and the Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed near Apgar Loop Road, all the way to Logan Pass.

As of Monday afternoon, the fire was 35 percent contained.

The main weather concern heading into Tuesday is a persistent easterly wind which could push the fire closer to Lake McDonald. In spite of the wind, temperatures have moderated closer to normal with highs in the mid 70s and humidity minimums of 20 to 30 percent.

Winds are forecast to diminish with a warming trend and above normal temperatures Wednesday and Thursday. With high pressure building almost directly overhead this will result in stable conditions, light and variable winds, and little or no smoke transport. Concern is for smoke concentrations to increase within the Lake McDonald and West Glacier areas.

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