Warmer And Drier Weather, Red Flag Warning at Higher Elevations
Incident: Sprague Fire Wildfire
Monday, September 11, 2017
Sprague Fire (5 miles northeast of West Glacier): Yesterday, winds out of the west-southwest were largely favorable for firefighting efforts. Two Canadian CL 415 airplanes, also known as “super scoopers” dropped water from Lake McDonald on areas of the Sprague Fire. The two “scoopers” made 140 drops for a total of 250,000 gallons and made good progress on reducing fire intensity on the western edge of the fire. Today, favorable west winds will result in a slow backing fire along Snyder Ridge and Mt. Brown. Walton Creek drainage may see some increased activity due to the slope alignment and westerly winds. Fuels reduction work will continue in the North McDonald Road area. The fire is 14,432 acres.
Structure protection work continues in the Lake McDonald Lodge and North Lake McDonald area: The “Rain for Rent” system is up and running. Sprinklers and road spraying around the Lake McDonald Lodge complex increased the humidity and cooled the immediate area, creating a “rain forest” micro-climate. Pumps and hose lay systems have been installed in the Avalanche Creek Campground, Trail of the Cedars area and North McDonald Lake area. The Wheeler Cabin is wrapped and firefighters continue to mop up around the Sperry Chalet complex.
Elder Creek Fire (40 miles north of West Glacier on the US/Canada Border): The fire showed little movement yesterday. There is a potential today for some short duration, high energy runs. The following trails are closed due to fire activity: Kishenehn Trail from the road to the Canadian border, Kishenehn Creek Trail from the Patrol Cabin to the border, and the Kintla Trail from Kishenehn Creek to Boulder Pass Trail (over Starvation Ridge). The fire is 211 acres in Glacier National Park (2,293 acres in total).
Adair Peak Fire (18 miles north/northwest of West Glacier): Yesterday, the Adair fire saw active fire behavior with crown runs and group torching on the northwest slope of Wolf Gun Mountain. Today, expect moderate fire behavior with smoldering and isolated torching in the 2003 Wolf Gun fire and Wolf Gun Peak area. The Adair Fire is 2,293 acres.
Smoke and Weather Conditions: Sunday saw good mixing of the air which improved visibility in Glacier National Park. Today, light west winds will result in less mixing of the air which could increase smoke in some areas. Forecast models continue to show a weather pattern change towards wetter and cooler conditions by Thursday. You can monitor current smoke and visibility conditions on the park’s webcams at http://go.nps.gov/glacwebcams.
An evacuation ORDER is in place: Area residents and park visitors were evacuated on Sunday, September 3, 2017. 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.
MOST areas of the park remain OPEN: 18 miles of 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.
Fire Information Phone: 406-387-9092
Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5510/ (Sprague fire updates, maps, photos, and park webcams)
Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5590/ (Adair Peak fire updates, maps and photos)
Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5601/ (Elder Creek fire updates, maps and photos)
Montana Wildfire Smoke Updates: http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair