News Release

Howe Ridge and Boundary Fires Update Wednesday, September 19, 2018; 8:30 am

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Date: September 19, 2018
Contact: Recorded Fire Information, 406-888-7077

Special Note:
Yesterday, as of 6:00 pm, Joe Sampson’s Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 5 took command of the Howe Ridge and Boundary fires.

This morning will start partly cloudy with increasing cloud cover throughout the day. There is a chance for light rain in the late afternoon and evening. Temperatures will range from 54-62 degrees in the Flathead Valley and 42-52 degrees at the Boundary Fire. Northeast winds will remain at 8-13 mph, gusting up to 20 mph. Minimum relative humidity will range from 42-50% in the Flathead Valley, and 55-70% at the Boundary Fire. The next few days will bring increasing chances of wetting rain to the fires.

Howe Ridge:
Yesterday, hazard tree and debris removal was completed around structures in the upper Lake McDonald area. Smoke will remain visible in this area as well as near Camas Ridge and Christian Meadows on the eastern flank of the fire. Smoke may be visible from the Going to the Sun Road. As traffic increases, so does danger to firefighters working along the road. Please stay aware and keep eyes on the road, as firefighters and park crews are still working in the area.

The Flathead National Forest will be conducting prescribed burning in the North Fork area on National Forest land. Residents and visitors should be aware that they may see smoke in this area from the prescribed burning.

Howe Ridge Statistics:
Location:  NW side of Lake McDonald
Start date: August 11, 2018
Size: 14,522 acres
Containment: 39%
Cause: Lightning
Injuries: 0
Estimated cost: $12.1 Million
Structures Lost
Residence: 13
Minor Structures: 14
Crews:  2
Engines: 2
Personnel: 134

Air operations flew the Boundary Fire yesterday and saw minimal fire activity. There is still some smoke in an avalanche chute on the east side, with very little smoke showing on the rest of the fire. Today, fire personnel will return to monitor firelines. Fire activity will remain minimal. Parks Canada and US Fire Managers continue to coordinate efforts closely and are in constant communication about the fire activity and response.

Boundary Statistics:
Location:  Boundary Creek
Start date: August 23, 2018
Size: 2,911  acres estimated
Containment: 36%
Cause: Unknown
Injuries: 0
Estimated cost: $885,000
Crews:  1
Personnel: 3

The majority of Glacier National Park is open. 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 less than 5% of the park.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road has reopened to private vehicle travel between Apgar and Logan Pass. It is now possible to drive the entire length of the road. Drivers will not be able to stop along the road between Lake McDonald Lodge and the Avalanche Creek developed area. Avalanche is open for day use recreation, including day use areas, restrooms, the Trail of the Cedars, and the Avalanche Lake Trail. Flattop Trail and The Loop Trail have also reopened.

The North Lake McDonald road is closed as well as the Inside North Fork Road from Fish Creek to Logging Creek due to the Howe Ridge Fire. Trail closures are associated with the Howe Ridge and Boundary fires; full trail closures are reflected on the park’s website at:

Aircraft Assigned:
A Type 1 and a Type 3 helicopter are currently assigned to the incident.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the Howe Ridge Fire. 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



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Glacier National Park Information: 406-888-7800,

Last updated: September 19, 2018

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