Super Scoopers return to Howe Ridge Fire
The Canadian CL-215 “Super Scoopers” were back to work on the Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park on Wednesday, dropping water on the southwest edge in an effort to slow growth as the fire approached the Inside North Fork Road. Helicopters also dropped water on spots near Camas Creek and in the Rogers Lake area to slow fire spread.
According to information from the Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team 2, the fire was reported to be 10 percent contained, a significant change since it began Aug. 11. The size of the fire was listed at 10,323 acres.
The fire continued to burn in sparse fuels on the ridges of Mount Stanton and south slopes of Mount Vaught on the north end of the fire. A sprinkler system on the Upper McDonald Creek trails is in place to serve as a fire line, should the fire move downslope toward the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Crews began work to protect the Trail of the Cedars and other facilities at the Avalanche Creek Campground in the event the fire reaches that area.
Firefighters and heavy equipment are being used to remove dead trees and brush to prepare the Inside North Fork Road to serve as a fire break. Structure protection is in place in the Fish Creek Campground.
The forecast for Thursday was for warmer and drier conditions with gusty winds, and possible thunderstorms on Friday. Firefighters are looking to the potential for colder temperatures and more rain late Sunday and Monday.
Evacuation orders are in place for the North McDonald Road, Lake McDonald Lodge area, private residences along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and Sprague Creek, Avalanche, and Fish Creek Campgrounds.
Evacuation warnings remain 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.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains open between St. Mary and Logan Pass. It is closed between the foot of Lake McDonald and Logan Pass.
A community meeting focused on the Paola Ridge Fire near Essex will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Izaak Walton Inn Pavilion in Essex where fire personnel will present management plans.
The smoke outlook for northwest Montana is available at: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/NWMontana
For a recorded Howe Ridge Fire update, call 406-888-7077.