A forest fire has forced the closure of the Avalanche Lake Trail, a relatively short hike with an impressive payoff, in Glacier National Park.
The "Avalanche Wildland Fire," believed to have been sparked by lightning on Saturday, covers roughly 45 acres, park officials said Monday. The fire is located on Mount Brown, near Avalanche Lake on the west side of the park.
Aerial water drops have been effective in suppressing the fire, and about two dozen fire fighters have been cutting fire lines around the blaze, a park release said. Smoke is visible throughout various locations in the park, and in some locations in the Flathead Valley.
The Avalanche Lake Trail runs 2 miles one way, rising just 500 feet, to an impressive lake rimmed by mountains from which cascades of snowmelt drop into the lake.