A fire that had been skunking around on Adair Ridge in Glacier National Park blew up Sunday night after being stoked by high east winds. The Adair Ridge Fire was an estimated 1,300-plus acres, blooming from 60 acres.
The fire is about four miles east of the North Fork Road inside Glacier National Park.
The Logging Lake campground and backcountry trail and campgrounds have closed and the Inside North Fork Road is closed from Polebridge south to the ranger station.
At least one party that was camping in the backcountry left as the fire was burning, while the fire was on the opposite side of Logging Lake, it was roaring and putting up flames as they left. Other campers in the backcountry came out this morning safely.
The Park Service is doing point protection on Logging Lake Cabin and the Logging Ranger Station. While Glacier notes it is a suppression fire, resources are very limited nationally.
The fire growth happened in the 4-6 hour Sunday window when the heavy east winds came in. This week, fire managers are expecting southwest winds to return, which will blow it back into itself.
On Monday, it was approaching a 2001 burn area, so fire managers expect lower fire growth.
Polebridge Mercantile owner Will Hammerquist said he closed the Merc early Sunday as a precaution and the Northern Lights Saloon was closed early as well. They have since reopened.
“We’re taking it day-by-day,” Hammerquist said.
Hammerquist said they could see the fire from the Merc.
A red flag warning remains up for today until dark, with north-northeast winds expected, though winds had diminished considerably by mid afternoon.
The North Fork Road north of Trail Creek is closed to everyone by residents due to fire concerns from the Elder Ridge Fire. The Trail Creek Road is closed as well except for local residents.
The Elder Ridge fire is burning along the U.S.-Canada border.