Pre-evac warnings lifted for Apgar, West Glacier

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Smoke from a fire above Sprague Creek in Glacier National Park wafts over the high peaks near Lake McDonald. (Chris Peterson photo)

The pre-evacuation warnings for Glacier National Park’s Apgar areas were lifted Saturday following a shot of cool and wet weather that slowed the Sprague Fire.

The warnings had been issued Wednesday due to the growth of the Sprague Fire. By Saturday, the area was experiencing “favorable weather and moderated fire behavior,” and the Central Montana Type II Incident Management Team decided to lift the warnings. The park also decided to resume issuing overnight backcountry permits for areas south of Going-to-the-Sun Road not under a fire closure.

Meanwhile, Flathead County has also lifted evacuation warnings in West Glacier, and in Moose City near the Elder Creek Fire.

Inside the park, however, an evacuation order remains in place between the foot of Lake McDonald and Logan Pass, and this area’s stretch of Going-to-the-Sun Road is still closed.

This part of Glacier National Park remains threatened by the Sprague Fire, whose west flank is moving downhill toward the Sun Road. Sarah Rouse, public information officer for the Central Montana Type II incident team, said that the flames were burning about one-quarter mile from the road.

The fire is about 2 miles from the Avalanche Campground and the Trail of Cedars.

Rouse said that equipment and personnel are ready along the road in case the flames arrive. Helicopters and CL-415 “super scooper” aircraft remain in the area, but weren’t deployed due to the fire’s slow growth rate.

Patrick Reilly can be reached at preilly@dailyinterlake.com, or (406)758-4407.

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