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Fires remain active in Glacier National Park

Posted at 5:22 PM, Sep 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-03 19:22:22-04

The Howe Ridge and Boundary fires remain active in Glacier National Park as estimated costs for both fires climb.

A Glacier National Park press release stated the cost for the Howe Ridge fire is now $8.18 million while the Boundary fire’s estimated cost is $178,000. 

A community meeting has been set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 4 at the Glacier National Park Community Building near Park Headquarters at 64 Grinnell Drive, West Glacier.

Howe Ridge: On Saturday, there was active fire behavior as the Howe Ridge fire moved through fuels on the southwest perimeter.

It continues to burn in heavy downfall and regrowth in the burn scar from the 2003 Robert Fire near the Inside North Fork Road.

Smoke and isolated single tree torching was visible from the Apgar area and from the McGee Meadow overlook along the Camas Road.

The Inside North Fork road has been cleared and prepared as a fire line. Firefighters are ready to respond as necessary as the fire approaches the Inside North Fork Road.

There are large numbers of standing dead trees which make this area hazardous for firefighters to directly engage the fire.

Firefighter and public safety is the number one priority on all incidents. A small portion of the fire is expected to reach the Inside North Fork Road today.

Minimal behavior is expected in all other areas of the fire.

Sawyer crews and heavy equipment are working to remove hazard trees and debris on and along North Lake McDonald Road to clear the road and allow firefighters safe access to the area.

Crews are continuing to monitor areas displaying fire activity along the southeast aspect of Mt. Vaught.

The Howe Ridge fire is 12,496 acres in size and 12 percent contained.

Boundary Fire: On Saturday, helicopters continued to perform water bucket drops on active areas of the fire.

The fire is primarily driven by terrain and wind, and is showing the most activity on the northeast flank.

High resolution imagery mapping was used to verify the fire perimeter more accurately and showed a decrease in acreage.

Canada and U.S. fire managers are continuing to coordinate efforts closely and are in constant communication about fire activity and response.

The Boundary fire is 1,709 acres in size and zero percent contained.

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 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.

Closures: The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains open for 18 miles between St. Mary and Logan Pass. It is closed for 30 miles between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass. North 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.

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.

Type 1 Helicopters: 2
Type 2 Helicopters: 1
Type 3 Helicopters: 2

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over both fire areas. Drones can shut down critical fire operations and launching, landing or operating drones is prohibited in Glacier National Park.

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