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Glacier National Park: Smoke is the Sprague Fire’s friend

Public meeting tonight at 7:00 pm at the Glacier Park Headquarters Community Building.

Heavy localized smoke is causing a reduction in fire behavior.  Fire Managers, residents, and Park visitors are experiencing the pros and cons of smoke.  Air quality is expected to be poor over the next few days because of the high pressure building almost directly over the fire.  This results in stable conditions and light winds.  The advantage of smoke is the “dampening” effect it has on fire behavior.

This Coram-West Glacier Fire Engine sprayed water along Going-to-the-Sun Road yesterday in an effort to raise the humidity in the area. (NPS Photo)
This Coram-West Glacier Fire Engine sprayed water along Going-to-the-Sun Road yesterday in an effort to raise the humidity in the area. (NPS Photo)

Last night the Sprague Fire did not grow in size.  Because of the smoky conditions, helicopter use was limited to only one mission yesterday.  The night shift monitored fire activity on Snyder Ridge and patrolled the Lake McDonald Lodge complex again last night.

There will be a public meeting tonight.  The Incident Management Team and Glacier National Park are hosting a public meeting tonight at 7:00 pm at the Glacier Park Headquarters Community Building.  The heavy smoke and calmer winds have significantly slowed fire activity.  This meeting will focus on fire activities to date and future projections.

“Rain for Rent” is coming soon.  Over 1000 feet of mainline and 8000 feet of lateral hand line will be arriving today in the Lake McDonald Lodge complex area.  This is a system of high capacity sprinklers designed to wet large areas to create a fire break.  Yesterday firefighters installed hose lays and sprinklers in the Avalanche Creek Campground.  Today they will be working to install a similar system in the North McDonald Lake area.

Flathead County structure firefighters assisted.  Yesterday local county cooperators finished their work in the Lake McDonald Lodge area and returned to their home stations.  They will be available should the need arise.  Their special expertise was deeply appreciated by Fire Managers and Glacier National Park.  Lake McDonald area complex structures were wet down and sprinklers and hoses are running around the facilities to make them more defensible.  Firefighters are gridding and mopping up around the Sperry Chalet complex.

An evacuation ORDER is in place.  Area residents and Park visitors were evacuated last Sunday.  The evacuation order remains in effect 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.

 Smoke. Because of the high pressure system, dense smoke is enveloping Lake McDonald.  You can monitor current conditions on the Park’s webcams at http://go.nps.gov/glacwebcams.

Adair Peak Fire Information.  The Adair Peak fire was started by lightning on August 12, 2017.  Glacier National Park fire managers have been monitoring the fire which is now at 1375 acres.  The fire is burning in a remote area of the park on the south side of Logging Lake.  Fire managers expect the fire behavior to moderate as this fire enters old fire scars.  Firefighters are implementing structure protection around the historic cabins located at either end of Logging Lake.

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

 

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