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

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Date: September 8, 2018
Contact: Recorded Fire Information, 406-888-7077

Special Note: Yesterday, Friday, September 7, the Park began offering limited visitor access on the west side portion of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Visitors are required to use shuttle or tour services to travel through the closed area in order to provide for visitor safety and firefighter access. Currently, private vehicles are not allowed in the closure. Visitors can ride the Park shuttle system from the Apgar Visitor Center Shuttle Stop to Logan Pass, with no stops. Free Park shuttle passes from Apgar Visitor Center are required. For more information on shuttles, Red Bus and Sun Tours go to https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/news/newsreleases.htm. To make reservations visit http://www.glaciernationalparklodges.com/ for Red Bus Tours and http://www.glaciersuntours.com/ for Sun Tours.

Weather: A cold front is forecast to move through the area mid to late morning. Today, there is a 25% chance of showers by late morning, and a 20% chance of dry thunderstorms. Temperatures will be significantly cooler, with highs of 64F-73F in the valleys, and relative humidity rising to approximately 30%. Winds will increase today from the southwest, gusting up to 30-35 up on ridges.

Howe Ridge:
Yesterday, fire activity increased in the western area of the fire, on the north and south flanks, due to hot, dry and windy conditions. Helicopters dropped 187,325 gallons of water on the Howe Ridge Fire, mainly near the Inside North Fork Road. The fireline along the road held, with no fire crossing to the west. Burnout operations did not occur. The fire crossed the Camas Creek Trail, moving into the Christensen Meadows area along the northwest perimeter of the fire. Fire north of the North Lake McDonald Road showed more visible smoke yesterday. These smokes are interior and are being monitored by fire personnel. Today, crews will keep removing hazard trees, continuing south along the Inside North Fork Road. If conditions are safe to do so, engines will patrol along the North Lake McDonald Road to extinguish any smoking hot spots that are a threat to private property.

Howe Ridge Statistics:
Location:  NW side of Lake McDonald
Start date: August 11, 2018
Size: 13,564 acres
Containment: 17%
Cause: Lightning
Injuries: 0
Estimated cost: $10.6 Million
Structures Lost
Residence: 13
Minor Structures: 14
Resources
Crews:  1
Engines: 8
Personnel: 167

Boundary:
At approximately 3:00 pm yesterday, extreme fire behavior was observed north of Boundary Creek, due to dry and windy conditions. The fire spotted north across Boundary Creek and the U.S – Canada border, burning into Waterton Lakes National Park. Parks Canada and U.S. fire managers quickly coordinated efforts to respond to this rapid fire growth of approximately 1,000 acres. Parks Canada dropped water from two helicopters to keep the fire from spreading to the east towards Boundary Bay.

The fire moved north into a basin southwest of Bertha Lake. Natural rock barriers have restricted the fire’s movement to the east. The 2017 Kenow Fire burned much of the area to the north and west of this new area of fire. Reduced fuels in this recently burned area should help act as a fire break. High winds and slightly cooler temperatures are forecast for today, which may increase fire activity and smoke. Objectives for the day include holding the fire at the avalanche chute 1.5 miles to the west of Boundary Bay. Fire managers from Parks Canada and the US will continue to coordinate activities related to the fire. See below for new closures in Canada due to the Boundary Fire’s recent activity.

Boundary Statistics:
Location:  Boundary Creek
Start date: August 23, 2018
Size: 2,673  acres estimated
Containment: 12%
Cause: Unknown
Injuries: 0
Estimated cost: $401,000
Resources
Crews:  1
Personnel: 19

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 North Lake McDonald Road (private residences and the Lake McDonald Ranger Station), Lake McDonald Lodge area (all businesses, employees, and private residences), and 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 to private vehicles for 30 miles between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass. As of today, Friday, September 7, Glacier National Park will be offering limited shuttle and tour services from the Apgar Visitor Center Shuttle Stop to Logan Pass. For more information about free Park shuttle passes and details on riding the shuttles, please visit https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/news/newsreleases.htm. The North Lake 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.

Parks Canada has closed additional areas in Waterton Lakes National Park due to the spread of the Boundary Fire. These new closures include the Bertha Lake Trail, the Lake Shore Trail, the Bertha Lake Backcountry Campground, and the Bertha Bay Backcountry Campground.

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. Two type 1 and three type 3 helicopters are currently assigned to the incident.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over both the Howe Ridge and Boundary fires. Drones can shut down critical fire operations, and launching, landing or operating drones is prohibited in Glacier National Park.

Recorded Fire Information: 406-888-7077

Fire Information: 406-578-8256  8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Website:
Howe: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6135

Boundary: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6170

Email: e-mail us

Glacier National Park Information: 406-888-7800, www.nps.gov/glac



Last updated: September 11, 2018

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936

Phone:

(406) 888-7800

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