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Howe Ridge Fire

Unit Information

Glacier National Park
National Park Service
PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936

NPS Shield

Incident Contact

Glacier National Park
Phone: 406-888-7077
Hours: Recorded Information Line

Highlighted Activity

09/19/2018 Howe Ridge Fire Update 9-19-18
Recorded Fire Information: 406-888-7077Fire Information: 406-578-8256 8:00 am – 8:00 pmWebsite: Howe:
News - 09/19/2018
9-19-18 Howe Ridge Fire InformationImage options: [ Full Size ]

On the evening of August 11, lightning ignited a fire on Howe Ridge, northwest of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. On Sunday, August 12, windy and dry conditions fueled the fire to rapidly expand. Evacuation orders were issued for the North Lake McDonald road, Lake McDonald Lodge area, Sprague Creek and Avalanche Campgrounds and the Going-to-the-Sun road from the foot of Lake McDonald to Logan Pass (32 miles). On Sunday, August 19, an additional evacuation order was issued for the Fish Creek Campground.

Areas of the fire are visible from some park webcams, depending on weather conditions and fire behavior. Webcams can be found here: he majority of Glacier National Park is open and not affected by the fire. Open areas include Apgar, Two Medicine, St. Mary, Many Glacier and the North Fork.

Video of the September 4th community meeting is available at

A story map of the progression of the fire is available at

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginSaturday August 11th, 2018 approx. 07:15 PM
LocationApproximately 9 miles from West Glacier, MT
Incident CommanderMike Goicoechea’s Northern Rockies Type 1 Incident Management Team 1
Coordinates48.643 latitude, -113.916 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel135
Size14,522 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained42%
Estimated Containment DateThursday November 01st, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Litter and Understory)

Brush (2 feet)

Closed Timber Litter

Primarily burning in heavy lodgepole regeneration from the 2003 Robert Fire. Heavy fuel loading of 1000-hour dead/downed fuels and a substantial amount of large standing dead timber.

Significant Events

Minimal, Creeping, and Smoldering

Fire continues to mainly see creeping and smoldering in areas of dry dead and down and deep duff layers in the cedar/hemlock flats of McDonald Valley.


Planned Actions

Patrol and monitor the Inside North Fork Road and the Lake McDonald Creek Trail. Suppress and mop up fire that reaches Inside North Fork Road. Monitor fire on Camas Ridge. Mop up hot spots near residences as safety permits.

Projected Incident Activity

24 hours: Beginning of another set of wet storms will keep fire behavior minimal. No additional growth is expected.


Going to the Sun Road has opened to general public traffic. The North Lake McDonald Road, Inside North Fork Road-between Logging Creek and Fish Creek, and the Fish Creek Roads remain closed due to activity from the fire.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Forecast Weather for Wednesday Day Shift:

Sky/Wx: Increasing clouds. A chance of light, non-wetting rain showers late on the shift

Winds: Northeast 8-13 mph, gusts to near 20 mph. Strongest in the late afternoon

Max Temp: 62F

Min RH: 42%

A northeast wind will prevail over the fire area on Wednesday and Wednesday evening. Clouds will gradually increase in response to a weak disturbance approaching from the Pacific Northwest. This will eventually lead to a few non-wetting showers beginning on Wednesday night.

Showers will increase further on Thursday as a cold front passes, with a better chance of wetting rain then. The front will cause a gradual increase in southwest wind as well. A thunderstorm is possible late Thursday, with the better chance of thunder over the Boundary Fire.