GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – Monday marked the 13th consecutive day without any substantial rain on the Howe Ridge Fire which continues to burn near Lake McDonald on the west side of Glacier National Park.
There has been an increase of visible smoke from active areas over the past few days however, containment continues to grow on the nearly 14,000 acre blaze.
Fire managers say the fire has moved about a mile to the northwest yesterday with growth estimated to be at a few hundred acres. Helicopters were used as needed to wet firelines, and assessments were done in the Kelly Camp area to look at options for hazard tree removal.
Firefighters will maintain readiness to protect infrastructure in areas near active fire, supported with helicopters to check hotter areas.
Evacuation orders remain in place for North Lake McDonald Road, the Lake McDonald Ranger Station, the Lake McDonald Lodge area and private residences along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Closed campgrounds include Sprague Creek, Avalanche, and Fish Creek.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains closed to private vehicles for 30 miles between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass. The North Lake McDonald and Fish Creek Roads are closed.
Private vehicles are not allowed in the closure area however, visitors can ride the park shuttle system from the Apgar Visitor Center Shuttle Stop to Logan Pass, with no stops.
The blaze, which was sparked by lightning on August 11th, has cost an estimated $10.9 million to fight and is now 19% contained.