Howe Ridge and Boundary Fires Update Sunday, September 2, 2018; 8:30 am

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Date: September 2, 2018
Contact: Media/Fire Information, 406-578-8256 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

West Glacier, MT - There will be a community meeting on Tuesday, September 4 at 6 pm. The meeting will be held at the Glacier National Park Community Building near Park Headquarters at 64 Grinnell Drive, West Glacier. Once
at Headquarters, follow signs to the Community Building.

Weather: Sunday’s temperature and winds will be similar to yesterday. The next weather system moves into the region on Monday. This disturbance will bring a cooler air mass with an increased chance of precipitation to the area, mainly for the northern and eastern portions of the Glacier National Park. The rain is expected during the afternoon and overnight. The high temperature is expected to be in the upper 50s on Monday. A slight warming trend is expected to start on Wednesday.

Howe Ridge: Yesterday, crews monitored areas displaying fire activity along the southeast aspect of Mt. Vaught and the Inside North Fork Road. The fire is burning through heavy downfall and regrowth in the burn scar from the 2003 Robert Fire near the Inside North Fork Road. Smoke from southern perimeter of the fire may be visible from the Apgar area and from the McGee Meadow overlook along the Camas Road. There are large numbers of standing dead trees which make this area hazardous to directly engage the fire. Crews continued to position and maintain operational status of pumps along McDonald Creek and Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor. This is to ensure the pumps are in a state of readiness if significant fire activity were to occur. Today, the fire will continue to move through available fuels on the southern and northeastern perimeters. Crews are monitoring and checking equipment in place in these areas and are ready to respond if necessary to protect resources at risk. Equipment is in place to implement a multistage plan to clear debris and remove hazard trees along North Lake McDonald Road to improve firefighter safety in this area.

Boundary: Yesterday, helicopters dropped water on active areas of the fire. The fire is primarily driven by terrain and wind, and is showing moderate backing through mixed conifer fuels in the northeast flank. Ground firefighting resources are working in the area to monitor fire behavior and direct suppression actions. Canada and U.S. fire managers met yesterday to continue coordinating efforts closely and are in constant communication about fire activity and response.

Howe Ridge Statistics
Location: NW side of Lake McDonald
Start date: August 11, 2018
Size: 12,457 ac.
Containment: 12%
Cause: Lightning
Injuries: 0
Estimated cost $7.83 Million
Resources
Crews: 3
Engines: 22
Water tenders: 1
Personnel: 343

Boundary Statistics
Location: Boundary Creek
Start date: August 23, 2018
Size: 2,084 ac.
Containment: 0%
Cause: Unknown
Injuries: 0
Estimated cost $95,000
Resources
Crews: 1
Personnel:11

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 for 18 miles between St. Mary and Logan Pass. It is closed for 30 miles 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: www.nps.gov/glac.

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 Helicopters: 1
Type 3 Helicopters: 3
A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over both fire areas. Drones can shut down critical fire operations and launching, landing or operating drones is prohibited in Glacier National Park.

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Last updated: September 4, 2018

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936

Phone:

(406) 888-7800

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