Officials at Glacier National Park said on Tuesday that the Howe Ridge Fire has burned about 2,500 acres, and destroyed numerous private homes and structures, according to a press release.
Seven private residences and additional outbuildings were lost at Kelly’s Camp at the end of North Lake McDonald Road. Additionally, the main Kelly’s Camp house, a second cabin, and other structures under National Park Service ownership were destroyed. One Kelly’s Camp home did survive the fire, as did numerous other privately-owned homes and structures in other areas of North McDonald Road.
The National Park Service believes that three outbuildings of the National Park Service-owned Wheeler residence, the Wheeler boat house, and the boat house at the Lake McDonald Ranger Station were lost. The main Wheeler cabin did survive, after valiant firefighting efforts that saved it after it caught fire.
Evacuations are in effect for Lake McDonald Lodge, North Lake McDonald Road, and the Avalanche and Sprague Campgrounds. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass.
“This is a heartbreaking time at the park,” said Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. “We’ve lost extremely important historic buildings that tell a piece of the park’s story, and multiple people have lost homes that have welcomed their families to the shores of Lake McDonald for generations.”
Some people have contacted MTN asking if Glacier has been closed, saying that they had seen reports on social reports that the entire park had been closed due to the Howe Ridge Fire and several smaller wildfires.
The answer is no. The vast majority of the million-plus acre park is unaffected by the fire.
The best source for current information on the status of Glacier National Park is the official website (click here), or the Fire Information Hotline that has been established by the Park at 406-888-7077.
Reporting by David Sherman for MTN News
FAST FACTS ABOUT GLACIER NATIONAL PARK:
- Number of named lakes: 131
- Number of unnamed lakes: 631
- Total number of lakes: 762
- Acres of named lakes: 25,622
- Acreage: 1,012,837
- Square miles: 1,583
- Miles of exterior boundary: 205
- Acres of defacto wilderness: 963,155…or 1,489.3 sq. miles
- Elevation at Logan Pass: 6,646 feet
- Number of mountains: 175
- Highest mountain: 10,448 ft…Mt. Cleveland
- Number Class A campgrounds: 8, with 943 sites
- Number Class B campgrounds: 5, with 61 sites