News Release

Howe Ridge and Boundary Fires Update Friday, August 31, 2018; 9:30 am

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Date: August 31, 2018

West Glacier, MT - Mike Goicoechea’s Northern Rockies Type 1 Incident Management Team 1 assumed command of the fires as of 6 am on Friday, August 31, 2018.

Weather: The weather pattern remains active, with weak, upper level disturbances moving through the area over the next few days. These systems are expected to be dry and cool with gusty conditions between 20-25 miles per hour, especially for ridge tops. In between systems, the wind will slowly weaken, and temperatures will gradually warm. There is no significant chance of rain through the beginning of next week.

Howe Ridge:
Yesterday, the Howe Ridge fire displayed minimal fire activity with areas of smoke. The fire is smoldering on the northern perimeter above Upper McDonald Creek and creeping in litter adjacent to Inside North Fork Road. Firefighters patrolled and monitored these areas for activity.
Today, crews continue to monitor and patrol along the McDonald Creek trail. They are also observing fire activity on the southeast aspect of Mt. Vaught to determine if a firing option is needed to protect the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Crews are preparing plans to clear debris and remove hazard trees along North Lake McDonald Road.

Boundary: The Boundary Fire showed moderate activity yesterday, with smoldering and creeping in areas that were exposed to wind. More active flanking and areas of heat were detected along Boundary Creek and along the northeastern side. Yesterday, windy conditions prevented managers from performing bucket drops on active areas of the fire. If conditions are favorable today, helicopter water drops will be used on hot spots on the northeastern flank. Crews are providing structure protection for Goat Haunt Ranger Station, and working to minimize fire spread within Boundary Creek. A fire crew module will arrive today and scout the area for further suppression actions.

Howe Ridge Statistics
Location: NW side of Lake McDonald
Start date: August 11, 2018
Size: 12,423 ac.
Containment: 12%
Cause: Lightning
Injuries: 0
Estimated cost $6.6 Million
Structures Lost:
Residence 13
Minor Structures 14
Crews: 1
Water tenders: 2
Personnel: 96

Boundary Statistics:
Location: Boundary Creek
Start date: August 23, 2018
Size: 2,127 ac.
Containment: 0%
Cause: Unknown
Injuries: 0
Estimated cost $48,063
Crews: 1
Northern Rockies

GENERAL FIRE INFORMATION The majority of Glacier National Park is open. Open areas include Apgar, Two Medicine, St. Mary, Many Glacier and the North Fork. The Howe Ridge fire is burning in less than 1% of Glacier’s 1 million acres. The temporary closure area for public safety and fire suppression access is approximately 93,500 acres, or less than 10% of the park.

Evacuations: 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.

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. North McDonald and Fish Creek Roads are closed. The Inside North Fork Road is closed from Fish Creek to Logging Creek. Trail closures are associated with this fire; full trail closures are reflected on the park’s website at:

Aircraft Assigned: All aircraft are shared among the fires within Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest being managed by Mike Goicoechea’s Northern Rockies Type 1 Incident Management Team.\
Type 1 Helicopters: 2
Type 2 Helicopter: 1
Type 3 Helicopter: 2
A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over both fire areas. If you fly a drone over a fire, air operations could be suspended. If you fly, we can’t.


Last updated: September 4, 2018

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PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936


(406) 888-7800

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