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Howe Ridge Fire

Unit Information

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

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Howe Ridge Fire Update 9-4-18

Howe Ridge Fire Wildfire
News – 9/4/2018

Recorded Fire Information: 406-888-7077

Media/Fire Information: 406-578-8256 8:00 am – 8:00 pm


Glacier National Park Information: 406-888-7800,

There will be a community meeting today, Tuesday, September 4 at 6 pm. The meeting will be held at the Glacier National Park Community Building near Park Headquarters at 64 Grinnell Drive, West Glacier. From Headquarters, follow signs to the Community Building.

Weather: Yesterday’s wind forecast did not materialize, and freezing temperatures were recorded in the area. Conditions behind Monday’s cold front will once again become mostly quiet and dry. Winds Tuesday are forecast to be light out of the east. A warming trend will start on Wednesday, with the next opportunity for any precipitation coming this weekend. Valley inversions may trap smoke from fires again this week.

Howe Ridge Statistics

Location: NW side of Lake McDonald

Start date: August 11, 2018

Size: 12,496 ac.

Containment: 12%

Cause: Lightning

Injuries: 0

Estimated cost:

$8.9 Million

Structures Lost

Residence: 13

Minor Structures: 14


Crews: 4

Engines: 8

Rescue Boats: 2

Personnel: 258

Yesterday, increased smoke was visible in the southwest area of the fire from a successful burnout operation along the Inside North Fork Road. Firefighters used hand torches to put fire on the ground to remove fuels between the fire and the road, which had been prepped as a fire line. As crews worked the fireline, a helicopter supported operations with bucket drops, delivering approximately 77 thousand gallons of water. Heavy downfall and regrowth in the burn from the 2003 Robert Fire in this area continues to be available fuel as it dries out. Crews, assisted by heavy equipment, began clearing the North Lake McDonald Road of hazard trees to facilitate access and firefighter safety.

Today, with anticipated continued movement of the fire towards the prepped fire line and road, crews will patrol the fire along the Inside North Fork road. Depending on fire activity, they may continue burnout operations and mop up hot spots as weather and terrain allow. Minimal fire behavior is expected in other areas of the fire. Saw crews and heavy equipment will continue removing hazard trees and debris along North Lake McDonald Road to allow firefighters safe access to the area. Crews are continuing to monitor areas displaying fire activity along the southeast aspect of Mt. Vaught.

The majority of Glacier National Park is open. Open areas include Apgar, Two Medicine, St. Mary, Many Glacier and the North Fork. 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 approximately 93,500 acres, or less than 10% of the park.

Evacuations: Evacuation orders are in place for the North Lake McDonald Road (private residences and the Lake McDonald Ranger Station), Lake McDonald Lodge area (all businesses, employees, and private residences), and private residences along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and Sprague Creek, Avalanche, and Fish Creek Campgrounds.


The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains open for 18 miles between St. Mary and Logan Pass. It is closed for 30 miles between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass. North McDonald and Fish Creek Roads are closed. The Inside North Fork Road is closed from Fish Creek to Logging Creek. Trail closures are associated with this fire; full trail closures are reflected on the park’s website at:

Aircraft Assigned: All aircraft are shared among the fires within Glacier National Park and the Flathead

National Forest being managed by Mike Goicoechea’s Northern Rockies Type 1 Incident Management Team. Two type 1 and three type 3 helicopters are currently assigned to the incident.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over both the Howe Ridge and Boundary fires. Drones can shut down critical fire operations, and launching, landing or operating drones is prohibited in Glacier National Park.

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