Just after the reopening of Yosemite, Montana’s Glacier National Park is now closed to visitors due to a fire on Howe Ridge ignited by lightning this past Saturday. Following the fire’s rapid spread due to dry and windy conditions, the National Park Service was forced to close the main portion of Going-to-the-Sun Road and evacuate tourists from Lake McDonald Lodge, North Lake McDonald Road, and the Avalanche and Sprague Campgrounds.
No one has been injured in the 2,600-acre fire, but it’s already destroyed several historic cabins along the shores of Lake McDonald. The bulk of the damage occurred at Kelly’s Camp, a cabin resort from the late-19th century, which was transformed into private summer homes in the 1960s. The fire also destroyed several boathouses and other buildings at the Wheeler Complex, built in 1916. Although most of the scenic and popular Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed due to the fires, 18.5 miles of the road, from St. Mary to Logan Pass, remain open.
In a statement, park superintendent Jeff Mow said, “This is a heartbreaking time at the park. We’ve lost extremely important historic buildings that tell a piece of the park’s story.”
Airplanes, helicopters, and a ground crew are currently working to suppress the fire. To stay up-to-date on the current conditions in Glacier National Park, check out its official webcam.
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