Above: The Howe Ridge Fire at the north end of Lake McDonald, August 12, 2018. NPS photo.
(Originally published at noon August 16, 2018)
The Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park has burned 3,500 acres at the north end of Lake McDonald 8 miles north of West Glacier, Montana. It started August 11 from a lightning strike and is being “managed”, or herded around, rather than being fully suppressed. The 78 personnel assigned to the fire are protecting structures and utilizing water drops from air tankers and helicopters to slow the spread where needed. However on Wednesday fixed wing aircraft were grounded due to heavy smoke.
Structural protection crews worked Wednesday to reduce risk to buildings at the head of Lake McDonald and Kelly’s Camp.
The time-lapse video of the fire below is very impressive:
The Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team, under the command of John Pierson, is onsite and will be taking over management of the fire at 6:00 a.m. Friday. Mr. Pierson’s team is also managing two other fires, the Paola Ridge and Coal Ridge fires.
Area closures and evacuations remain in place. 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. Apgar Village, Apgar Campground and Fish Creek campground remain open. Most other areas of the park are open.