The Howe Ridge & Boundary Fires Update: September 10

By | September 10, 2018

From Bill Walker…

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

Boundary: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6170

Email: 2018.HoweRidge.Boundary.Fires@Firenet.gov

Glacier National Park Information: 406-888-7800, www.nps.gov/glac 

Weather: A cold front will move into the area mid-afternoon, bringing significant winds out of the southwest. Winds will be sustained at around 15 mph, gusting up to 35 mph in the valleys and 40 mph on the ridges and in the Waterton Valley. There is a 30% chance of light rain in the Boundary Fire area, with a lower chance in the Lake McDonald Valley. Temperatures will be cooler, with maximum temperatures of 60F-68F in the valleys. Low temperatures around the freezing mark are possible each night this week.

Howe Ridge Statistics
Location:  NW side of Lake McDonald
Start date: August 11, 2018
Size: 13,671 ac. Containment: 19%
Cause: Lightning Injuries: 0
Estimated cost: $10.9 Million
Structures Lost

Residence: 13

Minor Structures: 14

Resources

Crews:  1 Engines: 9
Personnel: 158

 Howe Ridge:

Yesterday was the 12th consecutive day without any substantial rain on the Howe Ridge Fire, and increased smoke was visible from the more active areas. The Camas Creek drainage (on the northwest perimeter) put up the most smoke as the fire moved through heavy lodgepole regeneration and and through Christensen Meadows. The fire moved about a mile to the northwest yesterday, with growth estimated to be at a few hundred acres. The fire has spotted northeast towards Rogers Lake and is anticipated to move up the drainage today.

Helicopters were used as necessary to wet fireline near Howe Creek to the northeast of the Inside North Fork Road. Crews patrolled and mopped up areas of heat off both the Inside North Fork Road and the North Lake McDonald Road. Assessments were done in the Kelly Camp area to look at options for hazard tree removal and eventual access back into this extremely dangerous area. Firefighters will maintain readiness to protect infrastructure in areas near active fire, supported with helicopters to check hotter areas of fire.

Boundary Statistics
Location:  Boundary Creek
Start date: August 23, 2018
Size: 2,896  ac. estimated

Containment: 13%

Cause: Unknown Injuries: 0
Estimated cost: $496,000
Resources
Crews1 Personnel: 21

Boundary:

Quiet winds yesterday allowed Canadian and U.S. crews to continue laying hose and setting up pumps north of the border and east of the perimeter of the fire. Helicopters once again supported work on the ground and dropped water on the southeast perimeter. Fire growth was minimal at 221 acres.

With high winds forecast for the Waterton area today, crews may not be able to work near the edge of the fire, due to unsafe conditions. Helicopters will continue to support firefighters building line unless predicted high winds prevent them from flying.

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. Closed campgrounds include Sprague Creek, Avalanche, and Fish Creek.Closures:

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.

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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About NFNews Editor

Patti Hart is the editor-in-chief and founder of the NFNews.net. Patti lives on the North Fork during the summers and travels the world for the rest of the year, updating NFNews every day wherever there is an internet connection.

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