Glacier National Park Fires Update 10-4-17
The storm system that brought heavy snow to the Golden Triangle this week dealt a blow to the three fire wildfires in Glacier National Park. While smoke from the largest, the Sprague Fire, is still visible from the porch at Lake McDonald Lodge, the historic hotel is no longer considered at risk, and crews have dismantled the extensive sprinkler system set up to protect the building had the fire made it to the Apgar area on the south end of Lake McDonald.
Sadly, the Sprague fire burned 16,982 acres, and destroyed the dormitory building at the Sperry Chalet complex, a favorite back country destination for hikers in the park. Only the stone walls of the century-old building remain standing, and work is underway to shore up the structure against winter snows so restoration work can be started next summer.
The latest estimate on the Adair Peak fire, which is still burning along the east store of Logging Lake, is 4074 acres.
The third major fire in Glacier National Park this summer is the Elder Creek Fire, which has burned 659 acres in the northwest corner of Glacier Park. It is actually the southwestern tip of the Kenow Fire, a massive 94,000 acre wildfire that began in the southeastern corner of British Columbia and raced across the northern portion of Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta.
The fire took out the park's visitor center, a home, barn and several structures at a riding stables on the edge of Waterton townsite. A heroic firefighting effort saved the townsite and the landmark Prince of Wales Hotel. While the building itself was shielded by a massive sprinkler system like the one set up at Lake McDonald Lodge, four dozen firefighters made a goal-line stand, stopping the fire on the hotel's lawn.