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Contact: Lauren Alley
West Glacier, MT – A fire in the remote northeast section of Glacier National Park was detected on the evening of Thursday, August 23. The fire is located in the Boundary Creek drainage, about one mile west of Upper Waterton Lake. Parks Canada and the National Park Service deployed aerial initial attack resources, but extreme fire behavior and rapid fire growth prevented aerial suppression actions. Parks Canada and Glacier National Park staff cleared hikers from backcountry areas and evacuated the Waterton River Backcountry Campground on Thursday.
Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park are closely coordinating efforts and are in constant communication about fire activity and response.
While the fire initially grew very quickly on the night of August 23, fire activity moderated on August 24, with limited growth on the western fire edge. Wind and smoke prevented aviation operations Friday. The Boundary Fire is currently estimated at 1,800 acres, all within Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park has a crew of 24 firefighters working at Goat Haunt to complete preventative structure protection for the 14 buildings. Work at Goat Haunt includes installation of pumps and sprinkler systems.
All trails originating at Goat Haunt are closed at this time. Boat tours operated by Waterton Shoreline Cruise Company continue on Waterton Lake, but cruises are not landing at Goat Haunt at this time.
The weather forecast indicates that a cooler and wetter weather system will move through the area Sunday night and Monday, with below-normal temperatures, rain, and snow above 8,000 feet. This weather change may slow fire spread, but fire managers do not expect the precipitation to extinguish the fire.
For additional details about trail status in Glacier National Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.
Most of Glacier National Park, the Flathead National Forest, and tourism opportunities throughout northwest Montana are open and operating as usual.