News & Features

Storm Sparks New Fires in Glacier Park

Spokesperson Lauren Alley says Sprague Fire was estimated to be 50 acres late Thursday

Updated: Aug. 10, 10 p.m.

Click here to read the latest update about this incident.

A powerful thunderstorm that swept through the region late Thursday sparked at least three new wildfires in Glacier National Park.

The Sprague Fire in the mountains east of Lake McDonald was estimated to be 50 acres, according to spokesperson Lauren Alley. Alley said more information about the size of the new fires and any related closures would be available Friday morning.

According the National Weather Service, a thunderstorm rolled through Glacier National Park late Thursday bringing with it lightning and wind but little rain. 

Nearly 5,000 members lost power in the West Glacier and Hungry Horse areas, according to Flathead Electric Cooperative.

Earlier this week, another storm started at least seven fires in the North Fork region of Glacier National Park. The fires were all less than an acre and as of Thursday had all been contained. The fires forced the closure of a section of the Inside North Fork Road, as well as some trails and backcountry campgrounds.

Tinderbox conditions are plaguing the region, creating high fire danger.

Strict fire restrictions are in place across Western Montana, prohibiting campfires and internal combustion engines without a spark arrestor in the outdoors. Stage II restrictions mean people are prohibited from using motorized vehicles off road; operating any internal combustion engines during certain hours; having a fire of any kind, smoking or using fireworks.