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Xanterra to close Lake McDonald Lodge for remainder of season citing Howe Ridge Fire

Posted at 4:03 PM, Aug 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-17 19:20:29-04

Courtesy Inciweb

WEST GLACIER – Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park will be closed for the rest of the season because of the still-burning Howe Ridge fire.

Xanterra General Manager Marc Ducharme says all other operations under Xanterra’s management are fully open.

The Howe Ridge fire burning on the west side of Glacier National Park held steady on Thursday and has burned 3,500 acres with 0% containment.

A Type 1 Incident Management Team has now officially taken over at the scene.

Fire managers have scheduled a meeting to discuss the strategy to battle the Whale Butte, Howe Ridge, Coal Ridge, and Paola Ridge fires at 6 p.m. on Saturday in the Columbia Falls High School in the “little theater.”

Crews are continuing to protect the remaining structures along North Lake McDonald Road after several cabins and structures burned earlier this week.

Fire managers expect that most of the Howe Ridge fire’s growth is expected to happen along the northwest edge of the fire towards Rogers Lake as well as southward to Lake McDonald.

The Howe Ridge fire was sparked by lightning on August 11th.

Area closures and evacuations remain in place:

Avalanche Campground and Sprague Campground
North Lake McDonald Road (private residences and the Lake McDonald Ranger Station)
Lake McDonald Lodge Complex (all businesses, employees, and private residences)
Private residences along the Going-to-the-Sun Road

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is still closed from the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) to Logan Pass. The Inside North Fork road is also closed as well as multiple trails.

The park has established a Fire Information Line at (406) 888-7077. Recorded information is available if a fire information officer is not available to answer the phone.

Glacier National Park and most of western Montana are under Stage II Fire Restrictions. The east side of Glacier National Park is unaffected by fires. East Glacier, St. Mary and the Many Glacier area open