GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – The latest numbers from the Howe Ridge fire which has forced evacuations on the west side of Glacier National Park show that 10,802 acres have burned. The blaze remains 10% contained.
Fire managers report that crews have made good progress reinforcing existing trail systems and roads and consider these fire containment lines to be prepped and ready if the Howe Ridge Fire reaches them.
Friday is predicted to be a “dynamic” weather day for the Howe Ridge Fire with gusty winds expected as a cold front moves through the area, with possible thunderstorms in the northern portions of Glacier National Park, according to fire managers.
Air support was used Thursday to control spot fires with bucket drops in the Camas Drainage area while aerial ignition was used to create a uniform fire edge and to control the direction of the fire’s spread as it approaches the sprinkler-reinforced trail systems at the north end of the fire, in order to protect the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
The blaze continues to burn in sparse fuels on the ridges of Mount Stanton and south slopes of Mount Vaught on the north end of the fire.
A sprinkler system on the Upper McDonald Creek trails is in place to serve as a fire line, should the fire move downslope towards the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Crews are also working to protect the Trail of the Cedars and other facilities at the Avalanche Creek Campground in the event the fire reaches that area.
The southwest edge of the fire continues to back towards the Inside North Fork Road. Fire managers say crews and heavy equipment are being used to remove dead trees and brush to prepare the road to serve as a fire break. Structure protection is also in place in the Fish Creek Campground.
There are currently 148 people assigned to fight the lightning-sparked blaze which began burning on August 11th.
- The Fish Creek Campground area
- North Lake McDonald road (private residences and the Lake McDonald Ranger Station)
- Lake McDonald Lodge area (all businesses, employees, and private residences), private residences along the
- Going-to-the-Sun Road
- Sprague Creek Campground
- Avalanche Campground
Road and Trail Closures:
- The Going-to-the-Sun Road between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass.
- The Inside North Fork Road
- The Fish Creek Road
- Multiple trail closures are associated with this fire
- All trails off of the Camas Road are closed.
Glacier National Park and most of western Montana are under Stage II Fire Restrictions. No campfires will be permitted in Glacier’s frontcountry or backcountry. Smoking is also prohibited except within an enclosed building, vehicle, developed recreation area, or barren area three feet in diameter.
A recorded fire update can be found at (406) 888-7077.