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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Wildfires in the region affect campers and outdoor recreation

An expanding fire that recently broke out in Glacier National Park is a prime example of why hikers and campers need to call ahead, browse the Web and stay tuned in to the impact wildfires might have on their plans.

Just getting to the North Cascades on Interstate 90 has been a hassle this week because of wildfire-caused highway closures near George.

The Newby Lake Fire in the Pasayten Wilderness of northcentral Washington has been blocking access to the popular Horseshoe Basin area for weeks. Although that closure could end soon, firefighters have responded to 14 fires after some 150 lightning strikes were recorded Sunday northeast of Tonasket.

The Skyline Road in the Blue Mountains was closed Wednesday by a fire.

Fires are burning in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.

In this drought year, more are sure to come.

Glacier Park is the notable hot spot this week as the Reynolds Creek Fire on the east side of the park was estimated Wednesday at 2,000 acres.  

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed between the St. Mary entrance on the east side and Big Bend on the west side. 

The St. Mary Campground, was evacuated Wednesday.    

The Rising Sun Motor Inn, operated by Glacier National Park Lodges, and the Rising Sun Campground were evacuated Tuesday. 

The St. Mary Visitor Center was closed and used as a fire staging area. 

Park rangers and personnel have been searching for backcountry hikers in the area to evacuate them and direct them to safety.  

The park is assisting visitors to retrieve their vehicles that were left along the Going-to-the-Sun Road Tuesday because of fire activity in the area.  One vehicle was consumed by the fire.    

The fire is moving quickly in heavy timber with extreme spread potential, officials say, noting that they’re making contingency plans for evacuating the St. Mary area. 

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