Glacier National Park Fires Update 9-18-17 Noon
Sprague Fire (5 miles northeast of West Glacier): 16,790 acres. Yesterday, active surface fire burned through heavy pockets of fuel and continued to produce visible smoke across the fire area. Helicopters dropped buckets of water on the most active portions along the northern end of the fire to aid in slowing the fire spread. The southern end of the fire continues to hold north of Walton Creek and Lincoln Creek. Today, crews will assess trails along Going-to-the-Sun Road for opportunities to hold the fire as it continues to slowly back downslope. Efforts will continue to remove water handling equipment from higher elevations utilizing helicopters.
Structure protection continues in the Lake McDonald Lodge and North Lake McDonald area: Sprinklers and water handling equipment remain in place around the Lake McDonald Lodge complex and will be utilized as needed. Pumps and hose lay systems have been installed in the Avalanche Creek Campground, Trail of the Cedars area and North McDonald Lake area. Hazard tree removal near the Sprague and Avalanche Creek Campground will continue to ensure safe areas for fire operations. The Wheeler Cabin and Mount Brown Lookout are wrapped. Crews will continue structure assessment in Apgar Village. Night crews continue to monitor the fire throughout the night.
Adair Peak Fire (18 miles north/northwest of West Glacier): 4,034 acres. The Adair Peak Fire continues to see minimal fire activity with the majority of growth occurring on the northeast and east edges, as they burn into the old Wolf Gun fire. As the threat of fire movement towards the Patrol Cabins has diminished, the wrap from the Upper Patrol cabin will be removed and water handling equipment will be prepped for removal.
Elder Creek Fire (40 miles north of West Glacier on the US/Canada Border): 282 acres in Glacier National Park, total of 2,547 acres (note: this acreage does not reflect changes since 9/14). As fire activity remains minimal, aerial reconnaissance will be used to monitor the fire.
Smoke and Weather Conditions: Cooler weather arrives today and will remain throughout the week. Rain early Monday morning amounted to about 1/10th of an inch in West Glacier; the last time West Glacier received 1/10th of an inch of rain was 38 days ago. Chances of rain continue through this afternoon, with snow at elevations above 6,000 feet. Smoke will continue to be visible from these fires; other fires in Montana and British Columbia may also contribute to haziness in the area. You can monitor current smoke and visibility conditions in Glacier National Park at: http://go.nps.gov/glacwebcams.
An evacuation ORDER remains in place from the south end of Lake McDonald north to Logan Pass. This includes the North McDonald Road. The duration of the evacuation is unknown at this time.
MOST areas of the park remain OPEN: The Going-to-the-Sun Road from Saint Mary to Logan Pass, Two Medicine, Many Glacier, and Apgar are currently open. Please check the park website for current conditions as weather may impact closures: https://nps.gov/glac.