WEST GLACIER – Iit’s not the typical weather we are used to seeing in August, but snow was a welcome sight on Monday for firefighters in Glacier National Park.
The cooler weather and moisture has helped to quell the Howe Ridge fire which has burned just over 12,000 acres and forced evacuations on the west side of the Park.
Monday’s snow quickly melted and meteorologists pointed out that t’s not unusual to see snow in higher elevations in August, and though it won’t have much of an impact on the fires, the rain will.
"The snow is going to have much less impact just because of the elevation it was the rain that we got overnight will have a much bigger impact and the cooler temperatures," explained Type 1 Incident Management Team meteorologist Bob Tobin.
Tobin says a low pressure system that brought rain and cooler weather will help crews battling the flames, but it’s not going to put the fires out.
"The rain we got the cooler temperatures the higher relative humidities that’s all going to slow the fire behavior down but we’re a long way from being done with fire season," Tobin explained.
Monday brought gusty winds to Lake McDonald and white caps could be seen on the water. Tobin says through the week temperatures will warm slightly but will stay below what normal temperatures would be.
"We are going to have some very chilly morning temperatures the next couple nights so if people need to cover there vegetable gardens I would do it because we will probably see some localized frost in the area too," Tobin said.
He also told MTN news that the cooler weather also cleared the smoke.
"These low pressure systems that come in clear out the atmosphere really well so well have a couple days of really good air quality and then we’ll see how it goes the next three or four days after that," Tobin said.
The lightning-sparked blaze that’s destroyed several cabins and structures in Glacier National Park is still 12% contained.
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.