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Contact: Media/Fire Information, 406-578-8256
Fire behavior was moderate on the Howe Ridge Fire on Tuesday, as fuels dried out after Monday’s cool temperatures and rain. Fuels will continue to dry out in today’s predicted temperatures and fire behavior will likely increase in the afternoon.
Aircraft were used on the fire on Tuesday. Helicopters and fixed-wing CL-215s dropped water to cool areas and slow fire growth in specific spots. On the north end of the fire, aerial ignitions were successfully used to straighten the fire edge, allowing it to slowly back off the lower slopes of Mount Stanton toward containment lines.
Wetland in the Camas Creek drainage has slowed progression to the west, while fire continues to approach the Inside North Fork Road on the southwest edge of the fire. Equipment continued to be used to reduce fuel along the Inside North Fork Road in order to use that road as a containment line. Structure protection crews continue to work around Fish Creek and North McDonald Road. Additional structure protection crews have arrived to assess and develop plans for structure protection in other areas.
Evacuation orders are in place for the North 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, and Sprague Creek, Avalanche, and Fish Creek Campgrounds.
An Evacuation Warning is in place from the Quarter Circle Bridge Road north. This includes Apgar, the Grist Road, and all areas accessed from Quarter Circle Bridge Road. A separate evacuation warning is in place for all park areas north of the Bowman Lake Road junction with the Inside North Fork Road due to Whale Butte Fire activity, currently burning on Flathead National Forest land adjacent to the park boundary. An Evacuation Warning means people need to be ready to leave but are not being evacuated at this time.
Road and Trail Closures: 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. The North McDonald Road and Fish Creek Road are closed. The Inside North Fork Road is closed from Fish Creek to Logging Creek. Multiple trail closures are associated with this fire. Please see full trail closures on the park’s website: www.nps.gov/glac.
Fire Restrictions: 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.
A temporary flight restriction is in effect in the fire area.
Smoke monitoring information is available at: http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/
For a recorded Howe Ridge Fire update, call (406) 888-7077.
For general Glacier National Park information, visit www.nps.gov/glac or call (406) 888-7800.
For media or fire-specific questions, call (406) 578-8256.