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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 9-18-18

Howe Ridge Fire Wildfire
News – 9/18/2018

Howe Ridge Fire Update
Tuesday, September 18, 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,

Special Note: Today as of 6:00 pm, Northern Rockies Team 5 will take over the Howe and Boundary fires. This will be the last update from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team Type 1. We would like to thank the community and the Glacier National Park for their support during our command of these fires.

Weather: Overnight, temperatures were near freezing. Today, the weather will be sunny, with a chance of evening showers. Temperatures will be a maximum of 65F in the Flathead Valley and a maximum of 46F at the Boundary Fire. In the Flathead Valley, the minimum relative humidity will be 27-34%, and at the Boundary Fire, it will range between 45-60%. Winds will be calmer from the northeast at 5 – 10 mph. There will be gusts up to 20 mph at the Boundary Fire. Cool, dry weather conditions will keep the fire mainly creeping and smoldering. The rest of the week, weather will settle into an increasing wet pattern.

Howe Ridge:
Yesterday, crews monitored firelines and removed structure protection wrap from a backcountry cabin adjacent to the fire. Today, crews will patrol firelines and minimize suppression-related impacts in the area. Creeping and smoldering will continue in the deep duff layers of the sheltered hemlock and cedar flats north of Lake McDonald. Smoke may be visible from the Going to the Sun Road. As traffic increases, so does danger to firefighters working along the road. Please stay aware and keep eyes on the road, as firefighters and park crews are still working in the area.

The Flathead National Forest will be conducting prescribed burning in the North Fork area on National Forest land. Residents should be aware that they may see smoke in this area from the prescribed burning.

Howe Ridge Statistics
Location: NW side of Lake McDonald
Start date: August 11, 2018
Size: 14,522 ac. Containment: 39%
Cause: Lightning Injuries: 0
Estimated cost: $12.1 Million
Structures Lost
Residence: 13
Minor Structures: 14
Crews: 2 Engines: 2
Personnel: 134


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.

Evacuations: 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.

Closures: 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.

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 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.

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