Saturday, September 8, 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
Special Note: Yesterday, Friday, September 7, the Park began offering limited visitor access on the west side portion of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Visitors are required to use shuttle or tour services to travel through the closed area in order to provide for visitor safety and firefighter access. 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 on shuttles, Red Bus and Sun Tours go to https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/news/newsreleases.htm. To make reservations visit http://www.glaciernationalparklodges.com/ for Red Bus Tours and http://www.glaciersuntours.com/ for Sun Tours.
Weather: A cold front is forecast to move through the area mid to late morning. Today, there is a 25% chance of showers by late morning, and a 20% chance of dry thunderstorms. Temperatures will be significantly cooler, with highs of 64F-73F in the valleys, and relative humidity rising to approximately 30%. Winds will increase today from the southwest, gusting up to 30-35 up on ridges.
Yesterday, fire activity increased in the western area of the fire, on the north and south flanks, due to hot, dry and windy conditions. Helicopters dropped 187,325 gallons of water on the Howe Ridge Fire, mainly near the Inside North Fork Road. The fireline along the road held, with no fire crossing to the west. Burnout operations did not occur. The fire crossed the Camas Creek Trail, moving into the Christensen Meadows area along the northwest perimeter of the fire. Fire north of the North Lake McDonald Road showed more visible smoke yesterday. These smokes are interior and are being monitored by fire personnel. Today, crews will keep removing hazard trees, continuing south along the Inside North Fork Road. If conditions are safe to do so, engines will patrol along the North Lake McDonald Road to extinguish any smoking hot spots that are a threat to private property.
Howe Ridge Statistics
Location: NW side of Lake McDonald
Start date: August 11, 2018
Size: 13,564 ac.
Estimated cost: $10.6 Million
Minor Structures: 14
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.
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, 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 to private vehicles for 30 miles between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass. As of today, Friday, September 7, Glacier National Park will be offering limited shuttle and tour services from the Apgar Visitor Center Shuttle Stop to Logan Pass. For more information about free Park shuttle passes and details on riding the shuttles, please visithttps://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/news/newsreleases.htm. The North Lake 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: www.nps.gov/glac.
Parks Canada has closed additional areas in Waterton Lakes National Park 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.
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.