Throughout the West this Labor Day weekend, multiple wildfires have raged, causing serious damage and thousands of evacuations throughout multiple states. Two specific fires are even threatening manmade and natural features on national park lands.
— GlacierNationalPark (@GlacierNPS) September 5, 2017
One fire in Montana’s Glacier National Park had already destroyed a historic backcountry chalet, Sperry Chalet, last week and is now threatening a second lodge. The 14-square-mile fire caused the park’s busiest tourist spot to be evacuated over the holiday weekend.
The second lodge under threat is Lake McDonald Lodge, which is a 103-year-old Swiss chalet-style hotel that is iconic to Glacier National Park. According to The Denver Post, “The lodge's setting on the lake as the Going-to-the-Sun-Road begins its vertigo-inducing climb up the Continental Divide has made it an endearing park symbol for many visitors, and it's the jumping-off point for hikes, boat rides, horseback riding and tours in old-fashioned buses known as jammers.”
Evergreen, Bad Rock, West Valley, and Coram-West Glacier fire depts assist to protect Lake McDonald Lodge. The fire has NOT reached there. pic.twitter.com/vl8jM8jEIu
— GlacierNationalPark (@GlacierNPS) September 4, 2017
Another fire outside California’s Yosemite National Park on Sunday began threatening a grove of 2,700-year-old giant sequoia trees. Park officials were not sure of the intensity of the fire and how serious a threat it was to the giant sequoias, which can withstand quite a lot.
According to CBS News, separate fires in Yosemite also closed several trails as well as a road leading to the southern entrance.
Wildfires are also creating havoc in the state of Oregon, with one fire in particular having stranded 153 hikers overnight at Punch Bowl Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. The hikers were rescued Sunday, but that particular fire, believed to have been started by fireworks, has doubled in size and made its way into Washington.
With sustained high winds and dry conditions expected throughout the West, it is looking like a rough start to September will continue this week.
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