Hiker stranded at the Sperry Chalet tells his story - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Hiker stranded at the Sperry Chalet tells his story

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Thursday, August 10th 150 lightning strikes hit Glacier National Park starting several fires.   The largest fire burning around eighty acres called the Sprague fire.  The Sprague fire cut off trail access to guests like Mike McFadin from Illinois staying in the Sperry Chalet.  McFadin and his wife had two options hike the fourteen miles out via Gunsight Pass, or wait.  Hoping the fire wouldn’t come any closer.

McFadin recounts the moment he heard the storm roll in and saw lightning strike near the chalet.

McFadin says, “We went out on the deck behind the chalet and saw several lightning bolts and loud cracks of thunder.  And didn’t actually see fire right then and there, but about an hour later the manager came around and said there was a fire in the basin.”

This was only the McFadin’s second time in Glacier National Park.  And they were not prepared for the long hike ahead.  McFadin tells us managers at the chalet encouraged those that were able bodied to hike the fourteen-mile trail on Gunsight Pass to get away from the Sprague fire.   McFadin tells us they had limited food and water for the hike back.

McFadin explains, “From the physical challenge of being from the Midwest and not being used to mountain passes.  You know, having to hike almost fourteen miles to get out.”

McFadin tells us he has blisters on his feet and is exhausted, but is just thankful to be safe and out of the fire.

While Apgar Lookout Trail and Johns Lake area trails re re-opened, Sperry Trail is still closed.

On August 12th helicopters and planes were seen dropping water on various fires in Glacier National Park. 

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