NPR

Western Wildfires Endanger Beloved Sites At National Parks

A 20-square-mile blaze burned the historic Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park last week. In California's Sierra National Forest, an ancient grove of sequoias was scorched, but the trees survived.
A fire truck is positioned outside Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park, Mont., on Sunday as firefighters prepare for a blaze that is threatening the century-old Swiss chalet-style hotel. Source: National Park Service via AP

Wildfires burning in the Western U.S. are threatening some of America's most treasured national parks – and in some areas, the damage has already been done.

Last week in Montana, a 20-square-mile blaze burned the historic Sperry Chalet, a hotel and dining room built in 1914 and only reachable by trail.

"We are saddened to inform you that Sperry Chalet to the chalet's website. "The Sprague Fire reached the chalet around 6:00pm on Thursday, August 31. The hotel building was rapidly engulfed by fire."

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min readPsychology
What's Your Purpose? Finding A Sense Of Meaning In Life Is Linked To Health
Researchers found that people who did not have a strong life purpose were more likely to die than those who did, and specifically more likely to die of cardiovascular diseases.
NPR3 min read
Rolling To A Halt: Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally Ends 30-Year Tradition
Motorcyclists with the veteran advocacy group, Rolling Thunder Inc., will gather in Washington, D.C., for the last time this weekend. The group cites financial issues as its main reason for quitting.
NPR3 min readSociety
Sharp Satire And Dark Humor In 'Riots I Have Known'
Ryan Chapman's debut novel opens in the middle of a prison riot as the unnamed narrator cowers in fear for his life — which doesn't seem like a setup for comedy, but it's packed with dark laughs.