Several homes destroyed by wildfire in Glacier National Park

Posted at 11:24 AM, Aug 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-14 13:24:46-04

(GREAT FALLS) Officials at Glacier National Park said on Tuesday that the Howe Ridge Fire has burned about 2,500 acres.

In a press release they said that about seven private summer residences and additional outbuildings were lost at Kelly’s Camp at the end of North Lake McDonald Road.

Additionally, the main Kelly’s Camp house, a second cabin, and other structures under National Park Service ownership were destroyed. One Kelly’s Camp home did survive the fire, as did numerous other privately-owned homes and structures in other areas of North McDonald Road.

The National Park Service believes that three outbuildings of the National Park Service-owned Wheeler residence, the Wheeler boat house, and the boat house at the Lake McDonald Ranger Station were lost. The main Wheeler cabin did survive, after valiant firefighting efforts that saved it after it caught fire.

The Lake McDonald Ranger Station was also saved, following a fire on its roof.

Fire behavior moderated on Monday thanks to more favorable weather conditions. Crews on the ground, supported by aerial resources, worked to limit the spread of the fire to the north.

The weather forecast for the fire area is calm for Tuesday, but conditions remain hot and dry. Firefighters will continue to suppress spot fires along the north end of Lake McDonald.  CL-215 “Superscoopers” and a K-Max helicopter will again be used to drop water, focusing on the north and southwest edges of the fire.

“This is a heartbreaking time at the park,” said Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. “We’ve lost extremely important historic buildings that tell a piece of the park’s story, and multiple people have lost homes that have welcomed their families to the shores of Lake McDonald for generations.”

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