—Public meeting being held in West Glacier at 6 p.m. Tuesday
—Howe Ridge, Boundary fires calm over the weekend
—Back burns set along the Inside North Fork Road
Updated: Sept. 4, 3 p.m.
Cool weather and back burns have kept the 12,496-acre Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park at bay, but firefighters say it could get active as warm weather returns this week.
On Monday, firefighters conducted a burnout operation on the southwest side of the fire along the Inside North Fork Road to starve the blaze of fuel. While firefighters set back burns, helicopters also dropped 77,000 gallons of water on the fire to keep it in check.
Today, crews are clearing burned trees along North Lake McDonald Road to allow safe access for firefighters on the north side of the fire.
Although cool weather has prevented the fire from growing in dramatic fashion that could change later in the week as warm temperatures return to the area. Temperatures in the high 70s are expected by Friday.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains closed from Apgar to Logan Pass. The upper Lake McDonald Valley and Fish Creek Campground are evacuated.
A public meeting about the fire will be held in West Glacier at the Glacier National Park Community Building, 64 Grinnell Drive, at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Farther north, the Boundary Fire has burned 2,084 acres near Goat Haunt. Firefighters are working hard to use natural features to keep the fire from spreading and on Monday helicopters were used to drop water on hot spots.
A number of other fires continue to smolder across Northwest Montana, although none of them have grown significantly in recent days. As of Tuesday morning, the Paola Ridge Fire near Essex has burned 776 acres and is 45 percent contained; the Coal Ridge Fire near Polebridge is 280 acres and 60 percent contained; the Whale Butte Fire is 515 acres and 75 percent contained; the Gold Hill Fire near Libby is 4,000 acres and 10 percent contained; the Davis Fire north of Yaak is 6,614 acres and 30 percent contained; and the Rattlesnake Fire northeast of Hot Springs is 1,374 acres and 55 percent contained.
This story will be updated when additional information becomes available.