August 11, 2017
Contact: Lauren Alley
Contact: Kelly Stevens
Multiple Fires in Park Following Storm
Some backcountry campgrounds and trails are closed. All roads remain open.
WEST GLACIER, MT. – A storm that moved through the park late yesterday afternoon triggered approximately 150 lightning strikes throughout the park. Multiple fires have been reported.
Fires are suspected or known in the Apgar Lookout area, the Nyack area, Sprague drainage, and Camas drainage. This is the following website for estimated fire sizes: http://www.wildcad.net/WCMT-KIC.htm.
The following trails are closed: Apgar Lookout Trail, Howe Ridge Trail, Camas Trail, Trout Lake Trail, the Sperry Trail from Lake McDonald to Sperry Chalet (including all secondary trails such as Synder Trail), John’s Lake Trail, and Lincoln Lake Trail.
Backcountry campgrounds in the areas listed above are closed and backcountry users in those areas are being walked out. Those include Arrow, Camas, Snyder, Sperry, and Lincoln Backcountry Campgrounds.
Other backcountry areas in the park are still open for day use. No new overnight backcountry permits will be issued today to reduce the number of people overnighting in the backcountry while the park assesses the impacts from last night’s storm.
Sperry Chalet guests will either hike out via the Gunsight Pass Trail, or remain in place while the Sprague fire is being assessed. Guests with reservations for tonight will not be able to access the chalet. Additional updates will be available as the fire is further evaluated. The structures in the Sperry Chalet complex are not immediately threatened, however the main trail accessing the chalet may be impacted by the fire.
No horseback rides will depart from the Lake McDonald Corral today.
A Type III incident commander has been assigned and additional resources are being ordered. The initial attack for these fires is being managed with park and Flathead National Forest fire management staff and law enforcement, including air support.
Most areas of the park remain open including all areas of the North Fork (all closures have been lifted from earlier this week), Apgar Village, the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Granite Park Chalet, Two Medicine, St. Mary, and Many Glacier.
Fire managers expect hot and dry conditions to persist through the weekend. Additional trail closures are possible as conditions change or new fires are detected. Visitors should check the park’s trail status page for the most current closure information. https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/trailstatusreports.htm
The park is currently experiencing a power outage on the west side of the park unrelated to the fires. The outage extends beyond the park boundary. This may impact the park’s ability to provide up to the minute fire updates.