Wildfire in Glacier National Park forces evacuation of Lake McDonald lodge

Posted at 2:42 PM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-13 16:45:54-04

WEST GLACIER, Mont. (KRTV) – The Howe Ridge Fire burning near Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park has burned structures and forced the evacuation of an historic lodge in the park.

No details have been provided about the type or number of structures that were lost and there is no estimated acreage or containment of the fire at this time.

Park spokeswoman Lauren Alley said about 87 campsites and 82 rooms at the Lake McDonald Lodge were evacuated due to extreme fire behavior Sunday night and Sprague Creek Campground was evacuated Monday and Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed between the foot of Lake McDonald and Logan Pass, but the park is not closed at this time.

The evacuations were ordered when the fire column shifted and began moving over the ridge. Alley said fire behavior was extreme Sunday night with tree torching, crown runs, wind-driven fire and fire spots of up to one half mile away.

A Type I Incident Management Team was ordered to take command of this fire along with several others in the area. Fire crews are en route to the area and Canadian “super scoopers” were assigned to make drops on the fire. However, planes were not able to fly close to the fire Sunday due to high winds in the area.

The National Park will enact Stage II Fire Restrictions at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday. That means no campfires will be permitted. Additionally, smoking will be 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.

Glacier National Park has established a Fire Information Line with updated recorded information at (406) 888-7077.