WEST GLACIER – With high winds in the forecast, residents of the West Glacier and Apgar areas were told they needed be prepared to leave if the Sprague Fire made a run Wednesday night.
Flathead sheriff’s deputies and Glacier Park law enforcement went door to door with the evacuation warning starting at about noon.
Sue Exline, a fire information officer on the Sprague Fire, said the forecast calls for 15 to 20 mph northeasterly winds just after sunset which could drive the fire in the direction of those two communities.
“It’s less wind than what we had in early September when the fire made its last large run, but we would rather be on the safe side,” Exline said.
The fire is currently burning about a half mile away from Lake McDonald Lodge. A sprinkler system has been wetting down that area for several days now to protect the historic structure.
Apgar and West Glacier are about three to four miles from the fire.
The approaching storm system isn’t expected to bring much relief in the form of rain to the Sprague Fire.
The forecast is calling for most of the precipitation from this week’s storm to fall farther south and to the east of the Continental Divide, with only a few tenths of an inch expected to drop on the fire, Exline said. A second storm next week is expected to bring more rain to the area.
Early Wednesday, Exline said winds were blowing out the west and southwest and the fire was creeping around the forest floor with some torching .
“It’s the same that we’ve seen over the last three or four days,” she said. “There hasn’t been any fast moving fire at all…If the winds shift, that could change.”
The Sprague Fire is currently at 14,795 acres.