News Release

Howe Ridge and Boundary Fires Update Monday, September 3, 2018; 8:30 am

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Date: September 3, 2018
Contact: Recorded Fire Information:, 406-888-7077

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: A low pressure system will move into the region Monday afternoon. This will bring a northeast wind shift and chance of precipitation to the area, mainly for the northern and eastern portions of the Glacier National Park. Tuesday’s lows are expected to be in the 30s and a warming trend will start on Wednesday with a slight possibility of isolated light showers for the remainder of the week, mainly on ridge tops.

Howe Ridge:
Yesterday, there was active fire behavior as the Howe Ridge fire moved through fuels on the southwest perimeter. It continues to burn in heavy downfall and regrowth in the burn scar from the 2003 Robert Fire near the Inside North Fork Road. Smoke and isolated single tree torching was visible from the Apgar area and from the McGee Meadow overlook along the Camas Road. The Inside North Fork road has been cleared and prepared as a fire line. Firefighters are ready to respond as necessary as the fire approaches the Inside North Fork Road. There are large numbers of standing dead trees which make this area hazardous for firefighters to directly engage the fire. Firefighter and public safety is the number one priority on all incidents. A small portion of the fire is expected to reach the Inside North Fork Road today. Minimal behavior is expected in all other areas of the fire. Sawyer crews and heavy equipment are working to remove hazard trees and debris on and along North Lake McDonald Road to clear the road and allow firefighters safe access to the area. Crews are continuing to monitor areas displaying fire activity along the southeast aspect of Mt. Vaught.

Boundary: Yesterday, helicopters continued to perform water bucket drops on active areas of the fire. The fire is primarily driven by terrain and wind, and is showing the most activity on the northeast flank. High resolution imagery mapping was used to verify the fire perimeter more accurately and showed a decrease in acreage. Canada and U.S. fire managers are continuing to coordinate 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: 12,496 ac.
Containment: 12%
Cause: Lightning
Injuries: 0
Estimated cost $8.18 Million
Crews: 5
Engines: 19
Water tenders: 1
Personnel: 304

Boundary Statistics
Location: Boundary Creek
Start date: August 23, 2018
Size: 1,709 ac.
Containment: 0%
Cause: Unknown
Injuries: 0
Estimated cost $178,000
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:

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: 2
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.



Last updated: September 4, 2018

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936


(406) 888-7800

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