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Contact: Media/Fire Information, 406-578-8256
Firefighters have made excellent 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. Today 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.
Yesterday, aerial resources continued to control spot fires with bucket drops in the Camas Drainage area. Aerial ignition was used to create a uniform fire edge and to control 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 fire continues to burn in sparse fuels on the ridges of Mt. Stanton and south slopes of Mt. 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 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. Firefighters 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 in place in the Fish Creek Campground.
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.
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.
Most of Glacier National Park, the Flathead National Forest, and tourism opportunities throughout northwest Montana are open and operating as usual.
A temporary flight restriction is in effect in the fire area.
The smoke outlook for northwest Montana is available at:
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.