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Parts of Glacier Park Still on Fire

Crews battle to control Montana blaze, one of scores blackening thousands of acres.

August 13, 2003|From Associated Press

WEST GLACIER, Mont. — Glacier National Park's popular Lake McDonald area remained closed to visitors Tuesday as crews battled to control a fire that had grown to more than 38,600 acres.

Firefighters hoped to set more backfires to keep flames from reaching emptied park attractions, campgrounds and private homes along the lake's west shore.

"They've got to [complete the backfires] before the park can do any changes to evacuations," said park spokesman Tony Clark.

Pushed by hot winds, the fire jumped a park road that was used as a firebreak and threatened the park's Apgar Village on Sunday, prompting a second round of evacuations in the park in two weeks.

The village, Lake McDonald Lodge, a dozen private homes and several campgrounds near the lake were evacuated. On Monday, the park closed the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the west entrance to Logan Pass for the second time in two weeks.

Meanwhile, a fire closed the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park on Tuesday as crews continued efforts to protect 20 cabins in the Big Horn Mountains from another blaze that more than doubled in size.

Scores of other fires were burning elsewhere in Wyoming, including Grand Teton National Park, south of Lusk, west of Kaycee, southwest of Buffalo and in Sweetwater County.

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