August 21, 2017
Lauren Alley, 406-888-5838
Janette Turk, 406-758-5252
Rick Sacca, 406-249-6913
This fire was started by lightning on Thursday, August 10, at approximately 8:30 pm.
The Sprague Fire continued to burn actively yesterday evening. More accurate mapping will be completed later Saturday and the acreage of the fire perimeter (estimated at 586 acres as of Friday afternoon) is expected to have increased.
Activities for today include continuing structure protection at Mt. Brown Lookout and Sperry Chalet, as well as reinforcing the sprinkler systems that have been installed and activated along the Gunsight Pass and Snyder Lake trails. Helicopters will be used to drop water on the south edge of the fire as needed to slow fire growth.
The team’s strategy is to use natural features such as ridges, creek bottoms, avalanche chutes, and rocky areas to enhance the use of sprinklers, pumps and aviation resources. Crews are establishing an anchor point to work from at the Crystal Ford foot bridge. The team’s goal is to prevent fire from moving west past this point. Limited wildland firefighting resources are available due to the multitude of fires throughout the northwest.
Where is this fire located?
The Sprague Fire is burning in the Lake McDonald drainage of Glacier National Park above Crystal Ford on the Gunsight Pass Trail. This is the trail that accesses Sperry Chalet from the Lake McDonald Lodge area.
How are you managing this fire?
The Sprague Fire is being managed by the Flathead Interagency Type III Team led by Incident Commander Jim Edgren. Every fire that starts in Glacier National Park is evaluated and a plan for action is taken. Factors that determine how the fire is managed include location, time of year, predicted weather and resource availability.
The safety of the firefighters and public is always the first priority on a fire. Steep slopes and inaccessible terrain have hampered control efforts. The team is currently developing a strategy to protect structures and natural resources in the area should the fire grow. The structures at Sperry Chalet are not immediately threatened by fire, however structural protection equipment is in place.
Sprague Fire Closures
Most areas of the park are open including all areas of the North Fork, Apgar Village, the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Granite Park Chalet, Two Medicine, St. Mary, Many Glacier 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. 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.
Where can I find more information?
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. You can also visit Inciweb for more information, maps, and images: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5510/.
The fire is also visible from several of the park’s webcams: https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm.
Enjoy your day in Glacier National Park! Please drive carefully and remember that you are sharing Going-to-the-Sun Road with firefighters.