Public meeting on Glacier Park fires tonight

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A recon plane flies over a fire on the ridge of Mount Brown in the Sprague Fire Friday afternoon.

There will be a public meeting at 7 p.m. tonight on the Sprague and other fires burning in Glacier National Park. The meeting, held at the community building in Park headquarters, will talk about what’s transpired with the fire and what fire managers think could happen in the future.

Yesterday saw heavy smoke on the west side of Glacier, with three active fires in the Park.

The Sprague Fire didn’t grow overnight because of the smoke, fire managers said. The fire is more than 13,000 acres. The Adair Peak Fire near Logging Lake is about 1,375 acres and the Elder Creek Fire up the North Fork at the border is about 1,800 acres, but only 80 acres are in Glacier, the rest is in Canada, east of the river.

The west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the south end of Lake McDonald remains closed to Logan Pass. Apgar Village and the Fish Creek area remain open. The Camas Road is still open as well.

Glacier’s east side is still open, with hundreds of miles of trails available and other things to do and see. While there is some smoke, it’s not nearly as bad as the west side.

Logan Pass can be accessed via the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The Highline Trail remains open, though the Loop Trail is closed.

Firefighters are bolstering defenses near Lake McDonald Lodge, though local fire engines were released for the time being due to reduced fire activity.

Over 1,000 feet of mainline and 8,000 feet of lateral hand line will be arriving today in the Lake McDonald Lodge complex area. This is a system of high capacity sprinklers designed to wet large areas to create a fire break. Yesterday firefighters installed hose lays and sprinklers in the Avalanche Creek Campground. Today they will be working to install a similar system in the North McDonald Lake area.

The weather isn’t expected to help. There’s a chance of thunderstorms Friday and increased winds Saturday and Sunday, with continued warm and dry conditions into next week.

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