USA – MISSOULA, Mont. — A relatively light wildfire season across the Northern Rockies has roared to life as firefighters scrambled to try to stamp out more than 30 new blazes in recent days.
Authorities reported Monday that several new large fires have taken hold in Montana after a recent heat wave brought triple-digit temperatures.
That includes a 3-square-mile fire that has triggered an evacuation order for residents of 15 houses southwest of the town of Ennis and a fire in Glacier National Park that forced evacuations around Lake McDonald
Fires have charred a combined 30 square miles in Montana so far this year. By comparison, more than 2,400 square miles burned last year.
In Colorado, a wildfire in the southwestern portion of the state ignited by lightning July 29 had burned across 34 square miles (88 square kilometers) by Monday.
A wildfire is forcing evacuations in the most heavily-trafficked area of Glacier National Park and has destroyed an unknown number of structures around Lake McDonald.
The National Park Service said the 25-site Sprague Creek campground was being evacuated Monday, a day after the fast-moving fire forced the evacuation of 82 rooms at the historic Lake McDonald Lodge.
A second campground with 87 sites and some private residences also have been evacuated. A portion of the Going-to-the-Sun-Road remained closed to traffic.
The fire is one of several started in the park by lightning on Saturday evening. Windy, dry conditions on Sunday caused the blaze to spread rapidly.
Park officials had no estimate on the fire’s size.
It’s the second year in a row that wildfires prompted evacuations from Lake McDonald.
A growing wildfire in Glacier National Park in northern Montana has forced the evacuation of an historic lodge and a campground.
The National Park Service says the Lake McDonald Lodge and the Avalanche Creek Campground were evacuated Sunday night and a portion of the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed to traffic. Some private residences in the area also were evacuated.
The fire was one of several started in the park by lightning on Saturday evening. Windy, dry conditions on Sunday led to the fire growing Sunday.
Park officials had no estimate on the size of the fire, which is burning on the north side of Lake McDonald. The tourist areas on the south side of the lake are not affected by the fire.
The following release (click here) was sent out by Glacier National Park: