GLACIER NATIONAL PARK - The Sprague Fire burning on the east side of Lake McDonald that destroyed the main building at the historic Sperry Chalet on Thursday has blown up to nearly 4,700 acres burned.
Fire managers report that an infrared flight on Thursday night reported a growth of 2,549 acres, more than doubling from Thursday. The majority of fire growth was to the north and east. Firefighters are also bracing for another critical fire day based on the predicted weather.
The fire is now very close to the Mount. Brown Lookout which is a priority value at risk, according to fire managers. Other threatened values include backcountry cabins and campgrounds, structures in the Lake McDonald area, and trail infrastructure such as footbridges.
Smoke from blaze also prompted the closure of Lake McDonald Lodge earlier this week.
The Glacier Swan Mountain Outfitters will continue to guide horseback rides out of their Lake McDonald corral, and Glacier Boat Company will continue to offer boat tours on Lake McDonald, with some schedule changes.
The popular Going-to-the-Sun Road remains open, however, the Avalanche Lake Trail and Lake Area is closed due to fire activity. The Sprague, Snyder, and Lincoln Creek drainages and associated trails -- from Lake McDonald Trailhead on the west and Gunsight Pass on the east -- are also closed to all use.
Most of the part is unaffected by the blaze and a list of current closures can be found here. A fire information line is being staffed daily from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and can be reached at (406) 888-7077.
There are over 125 people assigned to the fire, including the Northern Rockies Type II Fire Management Team.
A fire information line at (406) 888-7077 is available from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. seven days a week.