(WEST GLACIER) - A rare east wind gusting up to up to 43 miles per hour last evening has pushed the Sprague fire westward and south. The fire is now established in the Walton drainage on its southern flank. The fire size is now estimated to be 9,403 acres, with plenty of tinder-dry fuel in its path.

Flathead Valley fire departments including Evergreen, Bad Rock, West Valley, and Coram-West Glacier are assisting in structural protection at Lake McDonald Lodge. (NPS Photo)

An evacuation ORDER is in place from the south end of Lake McDonald north to Logan Pass. This includes the North McDonald Road. This does not include the Apgar area at this time. Logan Pass is still accessible from the east side of the Park. The duration of the evacuation is unknown at this time.

Lake McDonald Lodge was closed for the season late last week, and firefighters have been laying hose and setting up sprinklers, preparing to defend the historic building, if necessary. The Fort Apache Hotshots, along with structure protection engines, staged overnight in the Lake McDonald Lodge area. A night shift patrolled the area.

Today structure protection hose lays and sprinklers are being set up in the Avalanche Creek Campground area.

Mop up work continues around the Sperry Chalet, which was lost to the fire last week. Firefighters were able to save the kitchen and dining hall building, and several outbuildings at the site.

Most areas of the Park remain OPEN. All areas of the North Fork, Apgar Village, the Going-to-the-Sun Road between St. Mary and Logan Pass, Granite Park Chalet, Two Medicine, St. Mary, Many Glacier, and Goat Haunt. Please check the Park website for closure information and current conditions at https://nps.gov/glac.