A fast-moving wildfire in Glacier National Park torched a car and a historic cabin and forced tourists to abandon their vehicles on the Montana park's most popular roadway while officials evacuated hotels, campgrounds and homes. (July 23)
Restrictions: Mandatory courtesy to KTMF, Embargo Montana
A fast-moving wildfire in Glacier National Park torched a car and a historic cabin and forced tourists to abandon their vehicles on the Montana park's most popular roadway while officials evacuated hotels, campgrounds and homes.
Visitors left their vehicles along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and were shuttled out by officials Tuesday, park spokeswoman Denise Germann said.
The two-lane road that carries thousands of vehicles on peak days in July and August was shut down for 21 of its 50 miles.
Park officials were helping tourists retrieve their cars Wednesday, while rangers searched the backcountry for any remaining hikers after the blaze doubled in size overnight to more than 3 square miles.
By Wednesday evening, the fire had burned more than 6 square miles. It also destroyed the Baring Creek Cabin, a historic backcountry structure.
Officials also were evacuating the small St. Mary community at the park's eastern entrance and homes along a lakeshore.
Wind gusts and low humidity were expected to move through drought-parched northwestern Montana, increasing the risk of the fire spreading even more quickly, and park officials were preparing for more evacuations.
That dangerous fire weather extended to Washington state, which is also struggling with drought.
About 600 firefighters on the ground and in the air attacked a wildfire that has burned one home and nearly 6 square miles in the southeastern part of the state. It was likely human-caused, officials said.