Evacuation Warnings Lifted for Apgar, North Fork Areas of Glacier Park

Going-to-the-Sun Road from Apgar to Logan Pass remains closed as cool weather calms fires

By Beacon Staff
Smoke from the Howe Ridge Fire blankets Apgar Village in Glacier National Park on Aug. 19, 2018. Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon

Updated: 12:14 p.m.

The Latest

—Evacuation warnings lifted in Apgar and North Fork areas of Glacier Park

—Firefighters complete significant work to reinforce containment lines on south side of Howe Ridge Fire

—North end of Howe Ridge Fire remains active, burning within 150 feet of Going-to-the-Sun Road

Monday’s cool, wet and cloudy weather slowed fire activity on the Howe Ridge Fire burning along Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, prompting fire officials to lift evacuation warnings in the Apgar and Grist Road areas of the park, as well as evacuation notices north of the Bowman Lake Road junction with the Inside North Fork Road.

According to park officials, the warnings were lifted at the recommendation of the Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team working on the fire.

Scattered showers are expected Tuesday, followed by a warming trend over the next several days. Officials expect the fire to smolder and creep, with the possibility of wind-driven fire activity with drier weather on Thursday and Friday.

Crews have completed significant work reinforcing containment lines on the south side of the fire, but continue to monitor its activity during the cool weather.

The north end of the Howe Ridge Fire remains active. The fire is within 150 feet of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in places. Crews are maintaining extensive sprinkler systems at the Upper McDonald Creek stockbridge, throughout the Avalanche developed area, at the Red Rocks overlook, and at the Logan Creek patrol cabin, should the fire spot across the road. In addition, an extensive sprinkler system has been placed along the Upper McDonald Creek trails, with the goal of containing that edge of the fire before it reaches the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

An evacuation order remains in effect between the foot of Lake McDonald and Logan Pass along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Other park roads including the Going-to-the-Sun Road between St. Mary and Logan Pass remain open.

Trail closures are still in place in the northeast Goat Haunt area of the park due to the 2,125-acre Boundary Fire burning in the park along the Canadian border. Boat tours operated by Waterton Shoreline Cruise Company are once again landing at Goat Haunt. Visitors will be limited to the boat dock pavilion and restroom area. Visitors should be aware that firefighters and structural protection equipment such as hoses will be in place.

Fish Creek Campground remains closed. Due to anticipated shoulder season visitation levels and the logistics involved in reopening the campground, the campground will be closed for the duration of the season. It was originally scheduled to close for the season the morning of September 4. Fish Creek Campground Road also remains closed.

Trails along the Camas Road will reopen with the exception of trails off of McGee Meadow.

Three fires on the Flathead National Forest continue to burn. The Paola Ridge Fire had torched 712 acres as of Tuesday morning; the Coal Ridge Fire near Polebridge has burned 280; and the Whale Butte Fire has burned 489 acres. A new fire is also burning in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The Juliet Fire was detected on Aug. 22 and has burned 500 acres, prompting the closure of a section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.

Near Libby, the Gold Hill Fire has burned 4,046 acres, forcing an evacuation warning for a number of homes along Pipe Creek Road between mile markers 11 and 13.