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Smoke Temporarily Tames Sprague & Adair Peak Fires in Glacier National Park 9-8-17 10am

Thick smoke persists over the fire area. The advantage of the oppressive smoke is the dampening effect it has had on the Sprague and Adair Peak fire behavior which has allowed firefighters a window to work on putting structure protection in place.

A firefighter soaks the ground around buildings near Lake McDonald Lodge to raise humidity in the immediate area. (NPS Photo)
A firefighter soaks the ground around buildings near Lake McDonald Lodge to raise humidity in the immediate area. (NPS Photo)

The disadvantage has been the inability to use aircraft. Aviation resources cannot fly unless there is at least a mile of visibility. Most of Thursday, the visibility was well under one half mile. This is not likely to improve much today. However, as the predicted cold front moves in from the west coast, winds should increase which may alleviate some of the smoke. However, it could move the smoke from the western fires into this area just as the Sprague and Adair Peak fire smoke moves eastward. The Sprague Fire is now estimated at 13,275 acres.

Rain-for-Rent 6" pump system has been set up to help protect Lake McDonald Lodge. (NPS Photo)
Rain-for-Rent 6″ pump system has been set up to help protect Lake McDonald Lodge. (NPS Photo)

“Rain for Rent” installation continues in the Lake McDonald Lodge area. The main line and six inch pump were installed Thursday. Lateral hand line installation should be completed today. This will free up existing pump and hose lay systems to be moved to other areas where they are needed. Sprinklers and road spraying were being done around the Lake McDonald Lodge complex to increase local humidity and cool the immediate area. This is also being done in the Avalanche Creek Campground and Trail of the Cedars area. Similar protections are being installed in the North McDonald Lake area. The Wheeler Cabin wrapping was initiated yesterday and should finish today. Firefighters continue to grid and mop up around the Sperry Chalet complex which is still experiencing single tree torching and hot spots.

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. The high pressure system will continue through Friday afternoon with dense smoke blanketing Lake McDonald. It is hoped the approaching cold front and westerly winds will disperse some of the thick smoke currently in the area. You can monitor current conditions on the Park’s webcams.

Canoe on Logging Lake 9-4-17. It would be a beautiful photo is that was an early morning fog instead of smoke from the Adair Peak fire. (NPS Photo)
Canoe on Logging Lake 9-4-17. It would be a beautiful photo if that was an early morning fog instead of smoke from the Adair Peak fire. (NPS Photo)

Adair Peak Fire Information. The fire grew 379 acres and is now estimated at 1754 acres. The most heat is on the south east side of the fire.Wrapping of the Lower Patrol Cabin was initiated.Additional materials will be brought in by the Glacier National Park pack string today. Fire managers expect the fire behavior to remain moderate as this fire enters old fire scars.

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, and Many Glacier are currently open. Please check the Park website for closure information and current conditions at https://nps.gov/glac.

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