The Latest: Evacuation warning issued in Glacier park
Sep. 13, 2017
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on the wildfires burning in Montana (all times local):
An evacuation warning has been issued for parts of Glacier National Park due to concerns about the effects of a coming weather change on fires there.
The warning was issued for the Apgar campground and Apgar village portions of West Glacier including West Glacier Village.
Flathead County sheriff's deputies and park rangers notified residents on Wednesday to prepare for evacuation.
The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for southwestern Montana Wednesday afternoon and evening, cautioning residents about stronger winds and low humidity ahead of a storm front that is forecast to bring rain across much of the state.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality also issued an air quality alert for the whole state Wednesday due to the concentration of wildfire smoke.
Wildfire smoke and the danger of new fires have prompted federal wildlife managers to postpone the annual roundup at the National Bison Range in western Montana.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday the roundup was scheduled for Oct. 2 and 3. No new date has been set.
Range manager Jeff King says the smoke makes the air unhealthy for humans and the horses used in the roundup. He says new fires could ignite from sparks created when horseshoes strike rocks or from the all-terrain vehicles used in the roundup.
Up to 500 bison live on the range. They are rounded up annually to check their health, and surplus animals are donated or sold.
The range covers about 29 square miles (76 square kilometers) on the Flathead Indian Reservation.