GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – The Howe Ridge fire which has forced evacuations on the west side of Glacier National Park has now burned over 11,500 acres and remains 10% contained.
Fire managers report that the blaze has grown following the arrival of gusty winds and uphill runs, group tree torching and short-range spotting created a smoke column that was visible from a distance.
At the south end of the perimeter, the fire continued to back toward the Inside North Fork Road with isolated torching in stands of lodgepole pine. Helicopters and the CL-215 “Super Scoopers” were kept busy dropping water to slow growth.
Removal of dead trees and brush along the Inside North Fork continues, preparing the road to serve as a fire break. Structure protection is in place in the Fish Creek Campground.
The north end of the fire was also active, with uphill runs, group torching and short-range spotting on the lower slopes below Mount Vaught. The fire is not spreading along McDonald Creek, as the area has moist fuels and is shaded. Helicopter bucket drops were used to slow fire spread towards the Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor, according to fire managers.
Sprinklers are running along the Upper McDonald Creek trails to provide additional protection for the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor. Hoses and sprinklers are also in place to protect the Trail of the Cedars and other facilities at the Avalanche Creek Campground in the event the fire reaches that area.
Mobile viewers click here to view a photo gallery from the Howe Ridge fire.
- The Fish Creek Campground area
- North Lake 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
- Sprague Creek Campground
- Avalanche Campground
Road and Trail Closures:
- The Going-to-the-Sun Road between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass.
- The Inside North Fork Road
- The Fish Creek Road
- Multiple trail closures are associated with this fire
- All trails off of the Camas Road are closed.
Glacier National Park and most of western Montana are under Stage II Fire Restrictions. No campfires will be permitted in Glacier’s frontcountry or backcountry. Smoking is also prohibited except within an enclosed building, vehicle, developed recreation area, or barren area three feet in diameter.
A recorded fire update can be found at (406) 888-7077.