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Evacuated Glacier Park lodge won’t re-open this season

August 17, 2018

In this Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, the Howe Ridge Fire burns at Glacier National Park, Mont. At least nine homes and cabins in a historic district of Glacier National Park have been destroyed in a wildfire that raged through the Montana park's busiest area and prompted the hasty evacuation of hundreds of visitors. Park officials said Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, that the lost buildings include the so-called Big House at Kelly's Camp, a resort developed early last century serving auto travelers along Glacier's famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. (Kristy Pancoast via AP)

WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) — A century-old lodge in Glacier National Park that was evacuated last weekend due to a wildfire will not re-open this season.

It’s the second straight year the Lake McDonald Lodge is closing early.

Fire information officer Diane Sime said Friday that Xanterra officials decided to close the lodge because of the uncertainty of when it might be safe to re-open. It had been scheduled to close on Sept. 26.

The lodge closed for the season in late August 2017 due to heavy smoke from a wildfire that burned more than 26 square miles (69 square kilometers) and the Sperry Chalet on the east side of Lake McDonald, leaving only its rock walls standing.

This year, a fire northwest of the lake has burned 13 homes, 14 other structures and more than 5 square miles (14 square kilometers) of land.

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