WEST GLACIER – Friday marked the one year anniversary of a violent storm that moved through Glacier National Park triggering 150 lightning strikes and sparking several fires — including the Sprague Fire.
Initially estimated at 80-acres the Sprague fire grew to nearly 17,000 and almost destroyed the historic Sperry Chalet. One year later, reconstruction of the chalet is underway.
Glacier National Park spokeswoman Lauren Alley says no wildfires are burning in the Park currently but smoke has drifted in from multiple wildfires burning in and out-of-state.
Despite moderate air-quality in Glacier National Park Alley says there are plenty of visitors enjoying their busiest time of the season.
Last week in the Goat Lick region Alley says Park and Flathead National Forest firefighters contained two lightning-starts through initial attack. She says July, August and September are when lightning and human started fires are the biggest threat to the Park.
Fire look-outs and firefighters on patrol are diligently watching for new smoke and new starts. Often times she says fires pop up in the afternoons the following day or next few days after lightning strikes.
"Be really cautious with your fires in the Park we always require that you have a fire in a designated fire ring so it’s a little bit different than some of the other public lands you might be on but that’s really important for the Park," Alley said.
Alley also recommends visitors to Glacier National Park check the parks website and webcams for the most current look at fire restrictions and air quality.