A cool and unsettled weather pattern will continue over the Howe Ridge and Boundary fires today and tonight. Afternoon showers will develop with a possibility of an isolated thunderstorm.  A wetting rain may develop in the evening, possibly bringing up to 0.10 inches. Temperatures will range from 54-62 degrees in the Flathead Valley and 45-55 degrees at the Boundary Fire. Winds will remain at 6-10 mph out of the southwest, gusting 15-20 mph.  Fuels are drier than average, making them available to aid in fire spread.

Howe Ridge: The southwest edge of the fire is mostly contained by fireline along the Inside North Fork Road. Bucket drops will continue as needed to wet the area between the Inside North Fork Road and Howe Creek where unburned fuels remain. Smoke may be visible in this area and near the northern flank by Camas Ridge. Fire in other areas will remain minimal, with creeping and smoldering. Yesterday, crews felled hazard trees in the Kelly Camp area and are removing those trees today. Crews continue to backhaul equipment from the Avalanche Campground area and will patrol fireline along the north side of the McDonald Creek Trail.

This map shows the location and size of the Howe Ridge and Boundary fires in Glacier National Park, as of Sept 10, 2018 (NPS Graphic)

Boundary:Today, fire behavior should be smoldering and creeping. Firefighters will patrol areas on the eastern perimeter that are still holding heat. Crews will maintain hose lays from Boundary Creek northward and mop up as needed. Helicopters will help with this effort as necessary. Crews will continue to remove structural protection in place at Goat Haunt. Parks Canada is collaborating with the Northern Rockies IMT 1 to create a long term management plan for the Boundary Fire.

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. One 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.