News Release

Howe Ridge Fire Update, August 16

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Date: August 16, 2018
Contact: Fire Information Office, 406-888-7077

West Glacier, MT – Fire burned actively through the night, with single tree torching and spotting producing growth to the southwest. Additional spotting and growth were observed on the north edge of the fire on the southern slope of Mount Stanton, as well as the northwest edge of the fire toward Rogers Lake.

A “K-Max” Type 1 helicopter and “Huey” Type 2 helicopter dropped water on the edges of the fire throughout yesterday afternoon and evening in order to slow fire growth. Fixed-wing aircraft were prevented from flying due to low visibility.

Due to favorable fire conditions yesterday morning, evacuated landowners were permitted to access their properties. Some areas were deemed unsafe due to conditions and those landowners were not able to extensively access their property area, but were able to view it.

Structural protection crews continued to work to reduce risk to buildings at the head of Lake McDonald and Kelly’s Camp.

An overnight infrared overflight provided updated mapping of the fire perimeter measuring 3500 acres. There are approximately 78 personnel assigned to the fire.

Today’s weather forecast anticipates the current ridge of high pressure to begin breaking this afternoon, resulting in increased atmospheric instability. Wind directions will change, resulting in potential for the fire to expand to the southwest and northeast.

Today’s firefighting efforts will include structural protection and ground crews will continue to establish a hose lay at the north end of Lake McDonald. Air support will continue to be used to control fire spread as conditions allow.

The Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team, under the command of John Pierson, is onsite and will be taking over management of this fire at 6:00 am tomorrow.

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 remains open between St. Mary and Logan Pass. It is closed between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass. Apgar Village, Apgar Campground and Fish Creek campground remain open. Most other areas of the park are open as well including hundreds of mile of trails. The Inside North Fork road is closed and multiple trail closures are associated with this fire. Please see full trail closures on the park’s website.

The Logan Pass Star Party planned for September 7 remains scheduled. The Logan Pass Star Party previously scheduled for Friday, August 17 has been cancelled due to logistical considerations including west side access and visibility.

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. The number is expected to change when the Type 1 Incident Management Team assumes control of the fire tomorrow. The latest Howe Ridge Fire information and photos can be found on Inciweb.

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. Propane stoves that have an on/off switch are permitted.

Last updated: August 16, 2018

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936


(406) 888-7800

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