Glacier National Park
National Park Service
PO Box 128 West Glacier Montana 59936
West Glacier, MT 59936
Howe Ridge Fires Update
Sunday, September 16, 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
Glacier National Park Information: 406-888-7800, www.nps.gov/glac
Weather: Yesterday was mostly sunny, turning cooler and partly cloudy in the evening. Today there will be light rain, with chances of heavier rainfall and thunderstorms in the evening. Temperatures will range from 50-60 degrees in the Flathead Valley and 34-46 degrees at the Boundary Fire. In the Flathead Valley, the minimum relative humidity will drop to below 60% and at the Boundary Fire it will range between 65 to 80%. Winds will remain at 5-10 mph out of the southeast, shifting later to come from the southwest, gusting 6-12 mph. Cool and moist weather conditions will keep the fire mainly creeping and smoldering. There will be isolated areas of smoke.
Yesterday, fire personnel observed minimal fire behavior during patrols. Today, operations will include hazard mitigation and rehabilitation of fire-suppression impacts within and around the fire perimeter. This will include breaking down hose lays and removing water pumps in the Fish Creek Campground area. Crews remain ready to reduce risk from hazard trees in the Upper Lake McDonald and Kelly Camp area as needed. There will be creeping and smoldering fire activity in the deep duff layers of the sheltered hemlock and cedar flats north of Lake McDonald.
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 less than 5% 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. The Waterton Lake Trail and the North Boundary Trail for will remain closed for fire activity, but all other trails and all backcountry camping sites in the Goat Haunt Area are now open.
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. As of September 14, the Bertha Lake Trail and the Bertha Bay and Bertha Lake Backcountry Campgrounds are open.
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 helicopters (one Type 1, and one Type 3) are currently assigned to the incident.
A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the Howe Ridge. Drones can shut down critical fire operations, and launching, landing or operating drones is prohibited in Glacier National Park.