- Associated Press - Thursday, August 6, 2015

ST. MARY, Mont. (AP) - Glacier National Park officials say a wildfire that closed a popular area of the park only slightly affected the overall number of visitors in July.

The 6-square-mile fire has been burning since July 21, shutting down a portion of the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Park officials said in a statement Thursday the number of July visitors decreased just one-half percent compared to 2014. The St. Mary entrance, where the road is closed, saw a 20 percent visitor drop for the month.

For the first seven months of the year, the number of tourists is 11 percent higher than in 2014. Last year, 2.3 million people visited.

Some crews battling the fire have been assigned to work along Going-to-the-Sun Road in an effort to make it safe to reopen the 18-mile stretch.

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