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Sprague Fire

Unit Information

Glacier National Park
National Park Service
PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936

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Firefighters continue long-term planning for Sprague Fire

Sprague Fire Wildfire
News – 8/21/2017

The Sprague Fire burned less actively on Sunday due to slightly cooler temperatures, higher humidity, and some cloud cover. Based on yesterday evening’s infrared flight, the fire perimeter is estimated to have grown 60 acres, and is now 1,183 acres. Approximately 97 personnel are assigned to the fire, including a wildland fire module, a hand crew, and one helicopter.

The fire has spread to the south across the Sprague Creek drainage and is moving up Lincoln Ridge between the Sprague and Lincoln creek drainages. Fire growth is expected to be limited on Lincoln Ridge as the fire burns into rocky areas with limited vegetation.

The Sprague Fire is also active in the Snyder Creek drainage. A helicopter will be used to cool hot spots and slow fire growth in this drainage to slow the fire spread. Near the west edge of the fire, firefighters will continue to use hose lays and sprinklers at the Crystal Ford Bridge.

As the fire continues to progress, it is expected to vary in intensity, spread and duration with fire activity, fuels, and weather. The fire is located in steep, rugged terrain. Portions of the fire are expected to burn until they are extinguished naturally by significant rain or snow. Firefighters are focused on protecting values at risk where they can do so safely and effectively. Values at risk include the Sperry Chalet, Mount Brown Lookout, backcountry cabins and campgrounds, structures in the Lake McDonald area, and infrastructure such footbridges. Firefighter and public safety are the highest priority.

Firefighters are staged at Sperry Chalet should the fire reach the area. Structure protection is in place, including a water tank, hose lays and sprinklers. Given the location of the chalet in a rocky, subalpine environment with sparse vegetation, fire managers are confident that the structure protection measures in place will protect the historic buildings if needed.

Fire managers are taking advantage of today’s favorable weather conditions for precautionary planning. This includes proactively clearing brush and creating defensible space around structures in the Lake McDonald area in the event the fire moves towards theses structures.

Firefighters will be hiking into the Lincoln Creek drainage today in order to assess the area’s conditions. This group, known as a Fire Effects Module, will evaluate the area’s vegetation, terrain, and fuel moisture levels to help fire managers predict fire behavior in the area.

A fire information line is being staffed 8 am-8 pm. Please call 406-888-7077 if you have questions about the fire and how it might impact your visit. The fire is also visible from several of the park’s webcams: https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

Most areas of the park are open and operating as usual, including Apgar Village, the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Granite Park Chalet, Two Medicine, St. Mary, Many Glacier, the North Fork and Goat Haunt. Please check the park website for updated trail and road information at http://bit.ly/2uAE96d

Closures remain in place for the Gunsight Pass Trail from Lake McDonald to Gunsight Pass, including all secondary trails. The Lincoln Lake Trail is also closed. Some backcountry campgrounds are closed due to fire activity. All frontcountry campgrounds remain open. Check https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/hikingthetrails.htm for updated status.

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