Sprague Fire continues to smolder

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Despite rain and snow, the Sprague Fire was still simmering in Glacier National Park Tuesday night.

The Sprague Fire in Glacier National Park continued to simmer on Snyder Ridge and the flanks of Mount Brown last week. The higher elevations appear to be all but out as snow fell, but the lower reaches continue to put up smoke, even with colder temperatures and rain.

West Glacier saw about 1.4 inches of rain over the past week and the higher elevations saw snow, but the fire itself saw about .63 inch of rain. This weekís weather is calling for drier conditions by the end of the week, though the region could see rain again by the weekend.

Firefighters have put up hose lays and sprinkler systems on the McDonald Valley Trail from Lake McDonald Lodge to Johnís Lake to hold the fire at the trail, but theyíre pulling hose at Johnís Lake proper and near Avalanche Creek and the Trail of the Cedars.

The fire, at its closest point, is about a quarter-mile from the Going-to-the-Sun Road, but not much growth has happened. It moves about 20 to 30 feet a day.

As of presstime, the west side of the Sun Road to Logan Pass was still closed, though the evacuation order on the north end of the lake has been lifted, so residents there could winterize their cabins.

The road isnít expected to reopen to the public from the west side to Logan Pass this year. It was scheduled to close Oct. 9 anyway for road construction.

The fire crew has stepped down from John Thompsonís Type II team to a type III team. The Sprague Fire was just under 17,000 acres. The Adair Fire near Logging Lake has also seen little growth at 4,000 acres and the Elder Creek Fire, which has seen no growth, is 282 acres.

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