GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – The main building at the Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park was lost Thursday evening due to the Sprague Fire.
According to a post on the Glacier National Park Facebook page, firefighters had an extensive hose lay, sprinkler and pump system to protect all the structures with the Chalet, but at around 6 p.m. Thursday, the afternoon’s high winds pushed the fire toward the historic building.
“The firefighters, supported by 3 helicopters, made a valiant stand to save the structure but were unsuccessful in saving the main Sperry Chalet. The firefighters remain on site, ARE SAFE, and are currently actively engaged in protecting the remaining structures,” the post said.
Sperry Chalet was closed earlier this month due to the fire, but park officials had hoped to reopen it by the end of the summer season.
The Sprague Fire burning on the east side of Lake McDonald has now grown to nearly 2,100 acres and has shown no signs of letting up. Authorities warn that the hot and dry forecast does not come as good news for crews.
The blaze has been burning for more than two weeks and has torched about 1,500 acres. Officials say crews are having trouble getting boots on the ground because of the steep, rocky terrain where this fire is burning.
Resources remain at the Sperry Chalet in case the fire makes a run that direction. While the fire hasn’t substantially grown recently, fire officials say upcoming weather may feed the flames.
“With the weather forecast that we’re seeing we expect that activity to probably increase in the next couple of days,” fire information officer Diane Sine said.
“Isolated light showers and dry thunder storms are a possibility tomorrow late afternoon lingering tonight into Tuesday and then Wednesday has our best chance of showers and thunderstorms,” Sine added. “That all has the potential of increasing fire activity, so far the fire has behaved as expected and so we’re hoping that will be the continued situation.”
Most of the park is unaffected by this fire, but there are some trail closures because of this fire. Those are posted on the website for Glacier National Park.
This is a developing story.