Update on wildfires in Glacier National Park (Mon Aug 27)

Posted at 12:44 PM, Aug 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-27 14:44:09-04

The Howe Ridge Fire (Inciweb), which has forced evacuations on the west side of Glacier National Park, has burned an estimated 12,420 acres as of Monday, and is 12% contained.

An interagency response has been fighting the lightning-sparked fire since it began on August 11.

The Boundary Fire (Inciweb) in the northeastern area of Glacier has burned an estimated 2,125 acres as of Monday, and there is no containment at this point. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

No injuries have been reported in either fire.

Fire Restrictions: Glacier National Park and most of western Montana are under Stage II Fire Restrictions. No campfires are permitted in Glacier’s frontcountry or backcountry. Smoking is also prohibited except within an enclosed building, vehicle, developed recreation area, or barren area three feet in diameter. Propane stoves that have an on/off switch are permitted.

Most of Glacier National Park, the Flathead National Forest, and tourism opportunities throughout northwest Montana are open and operating as usual.

A temporary flight restriction is in effect in the fire area.

The Howe Ridge Fire:

Sunday’s cool and wet weather slowed fire activity on the Howe Ridge Fire. A continuation of this weather pattern on Monday will limit fire growth, but the fire will continue to smolder with the possibility of wind-driven fire activity with drier weather in coming days.

Crews continue to monitor the fire’s activity during the wet weather. Reinforcement of the Inside North Fork Road as a fire line is complete. Hoses, pumps and sprinklers are in place to protect the Going-to-the-Sun Road and the facilities in the Avalanche Creek area in the event the fire spreads northeast towards those areas. Crews continue to maintain structure protection along the North Lake McDonald Road.

Evacuations: Evacuation orders are in place for the North McDonald Road (private residences and the Lake McDonald Ranger Station), Lake McDonald Lodge area (all businesses, employees, and private residences), private residences along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and Sprague Creek, Avalanche, and Fish Creek Campgrounds.

Evacuation Warnings: An Evacuation Warning is in place from the Quarter Circle Bridge Road north. This includes Apgar, the Grist Road, and all areas accessed from Quarter Circle Bridge Road. A separate evacuation warning is in place for all park areas north of the Bowman Lake Road junction with the Inside North Fork Road due to Whale Butte Fire activity, currently burning on Flathead National Forest land adjacent to the park boundary. An Evacuation Warning means people need to be ready to leave but are not being evacuated at this time.

Road and Trail Closures: The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains open between St. Mary and Logan Pass. It is closed between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass. The North McDonald Road and Fish Creek Road are closed. The Inside North Fork Road is closed from Fish Creek to Logging Creek. Multiple trail closures are associated with this fire. Please see full trail closures on the park’s website:

The Boundary Fire:

Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park have delegated responsibility for the Boundary Fire to the Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team 2. The National Park Service and Parks Canada are closely coordinating with the team.

There was 0.70 inches of rain recorded at Goat Haunt in the last 24 hours, which is expected to moderate fire activity but not extinguish the fire. On Sunday, a Parks Canada helicopter dropped water on a hot spot on the north side of Boundary Creek as U.S. National Park Service personnel assisted from the ground. Later in the day, a U.S. helicopter was used for aerial ignition to bring the fire to the edge of avalanche paths in order to stop the spread of fire east toward Waterton Lake. Structure protection is in place at Goat Haunt, in case the fire reaches that area.

Evacuation Warning: Waterton Lakes National Park has issued an Evacuation Alert for all of Waterton Lakes National Park, and has closed all backcountry areas and hiking trails. Visit for complete information about about closures in Waterton Lakes National Park.

Trail Closures: All trails originating at Goat Haunt are closed at this time. Boat tours operated by Waterton Shoreline Cruise Company continue on Waterton Lake, but cruises are not landing at Goat Haunt at this time.

For a recorded Howe Ridge Fire update, call (406) 888-7077.For general Glacier National Park information, visit or call (406) 888-7800.

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