MTPR

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park in northwest Montana is known for its rugged, wild nature. But even in the farthest reaches of the backcountry, weary hikers and horseback riders could always count on a soft cot and hot meal at one of the park's oldest lodges, the Sperry Chalet.

Hole-in-the-Wall Backcountry Campground, August 2005.
David Restivo-NPS (PD)

Glacier National Park has stopped issuing backcountry camping permits due to an expected increase in fire activity this weekend.

This weekend’s incoming cold front will likely usher in gusty winds and dry thunderstorms, which fire officials say could grow existing fires and start new ones across western Montana.

Rain for Rent high-capacity pumps, pipes, and sprinklers headed for Lake McDonald Lodge to create a curtain of water if necessary, September 7, 2017.
Glacier National Park

With large fires burning across nearly 1.5 million acres nationwide and no end to the fire season in sight, fire management crews in Montana are starting to think outside the box.

"Part of the issue is that there are so many fires throughout the west that the regular kinds of pumps that firefighters use are all in use in other locations," says Diane Sine, a spokeswoman for the management team on the Sprague Fire that’s burning in Glacier National Park.

Avalanche Gorge along the Trail of the Cedars in Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park

Fire officials on the Sprague Fire burning in Glacier National Park had good news and bad news at a public fire meeting at Park Headquarters Wednesday night. The good news, they told a standing room only crowd of more than 150 people, is that the smoke choking the Flathead Valley has also been dampening fire activity, holding the Sprague Fire at roughly 13,000 acres.

Glacier National Park's Sperry Chalet as seen on July 21, 2017.
Courtesy Bret Bouda

Thursday night, strong winds fanned the Sprague Fire burning in Glacier National Park and nearly doubled its size. The flames engulfed and destroyed the main rock and timber dormitory of the Sperry Chalet, which for more than a hundred years offered a haven of amenities to hikers in Glacier’s rugged backcountry.

Today, the internet is flooded with personal stories that together weave a history of the lost National Historic Landmark.

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