Increased Winds Brings Changing Conditions and Better Visibility
Incident: Elder Creek Fire Wildfire
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Elder Creek Fire (40 miles north of West Glacier on the US/Canada Border): The fire showed no activity yesterday as the cloud cover and higher humidity slowed fire behavior. The following trails are closed due to the fire: 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 170 acres in Glacier National Park (2108 acres in total).
Sprague Fire (5 miles northeast of West Glacier): Yesterday, the cold front brought higher winds from the west-southwest and the possibility of increased fire activity. However, increased humidity and cloud cover moderated fire behavior. Improved visibility allowed four water dropping helicopters to work hots spots along Snyder Ridge and Mt. Brown. Today, we can expect a similar day to yesterday, winds out of the west-southwest which are largely favorable. Fire behavior is expected to be moderate. The fire is 13,674 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 continues around Lake McDonald Lodge complex to increase humidity and cool the immediate area, creating a “rain forest” micro-climate. Pumps and hose lay systems have been installed and are operating at 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.
Adair Peak Fire Information (18 miles north/northwest of West Glacier): Yesterday, the Adair fire also saw increased west-southwest winds increasing activity in the basin leading up to Wolf Gun Mountain. Firefighters ran the sprinkler system at the upper Patrol Cabin on Logging Lake. Today, Fire behavior will remain moderate as the fire enters surrounding old fire scars. The Adair Fire is 1,918 acres.
Smoke: Saturday afternoon saw some clearing and improved visibility in Glacier National Park, especially on the east side. The west-southwest winds should continue today, mixing the air and improving visibility. 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