Howe Ridge Fire Update
Wednesday, September 12, 2018; 8:30 am
Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1
Mike Goicoechea, Incident Commander
Recorded Fire Information: 406-888-7077
Fire Information: 406-578-8256 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Website: Howe: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6135
Glacier National Park Information: 406-888-7800, www.nps.gov/glac
FIRE INFORMATION COMMUNITY MEETING: Tomorrow, (Thursday, September 13), 2018 at 6:00 pm at Izaak Walton Inn & Resort, 290 Izaak Walton Inn Road, Essex, MT 59916.
Weather: Following excellent humidity recovery this morning, mostly cloudy weather with cool and humid conditions is expected today through Friday. A few light afternoon showers are expected, followed by a stronger possibility of a wetting rain on Thursday night. Temperatures will average about 5-10 degrees below normal for mid-September. The high will be 61 degrees in Flathead Valley and 55 degrees over the Boundary Fire. Winds will be mild at 6-10 mph out of the southwest, gusting 15-20 mph.
Yesterday was a quiet day with no aviation support needed. There was very little growth of the fire, although smoke was present in the Camas Ridge area. Crews mopped up and patrolled along the Inside North Fork Road and the northwestern area below Mount Vaught.
The hazard tree removal that began yesterday in the Kelly Camp area will continue today. Firefighters will also start work with hazard tree removal on the McDonald Creek Trail. The fire along the Inside North Fork Road remains well contained. Smoke will still be visible in the Camas Ridge area.
Howe Ridge Statistics
Location: NW side of Lake McDonald
Start date: August 11, 2018
Size: 14,224 ac. Containment: 20%
Cause: Lightning Injuries: 0
Estimated cost: $11.6 Million
Minor Structures: 14
Crews: 2 Engines: 6
GENERAL FIRE INFORMATION
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.
Evacuation orders are in place for 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. Closed campgrounds include Sprague Creek, Avalanche, and Fish Creek.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains open on the eastern section for 18 miles between St. Mary and Logan Pass. It is closed to private vehicles on the western section for 30 miles between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass. The North Lake McDonald and Fish Creek Roads are closed.
Currently, private vehicles are not allowed in the closure. Visitors can ride the Park shuttle system from the Apgar Visitor Center Shuttle Stop to Logan Pass, with no stops. Free Park shuttle passes from Apgar Visitor Center are required. For more information go to https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/news/newsreleases.htm. For reservations visit http://www.glaciernationalparklodges.com/ for Red Bus Tours or http://www.glaciersuntours.com/ for Sun Tours.
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: https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/nature/fire-information.htm.
Additional closures in Waterton Lakes National Park were put into place on Friday, September 7, due to the spread of the Boundary Fire. These new closures include the Bertha Lake Trail, the Lake Shore Trail, the Bertha Lake Backcountry Campground, and the Bertha Bay Backcountry Campground. On evening of September 10, Parks Canada closed the Bison Paddock overlook, to facilitate helicopter operations.
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, one Type 2 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