The Howe Ridge Fire that has been burning since August 11, forcing evacuations on the west side of Glacier National Park, has now burned more than 12,000 acres and is only 10% contained.
A low-pressure system brought showers and significantly cooler temperatures to the area Sunday night and Monday. This will give firefighters a welcome reprieve from hot and dry conditions but is not expected to extinguish the fire, reports KRTV.com.
Fire on the southern perimeter has been backing slowly toward the Inside North Fork Road, which is serving as a containment line and is within 100 yards of the road in places.
Firefighters continue to use hand and aerial ignition in order to establish a more secure fire line to hold the fire away from Going-to-the-Sun Road. Hoses and sprinklers are in place to protect the Trail of the Cedars and the Avalanche Creek Campground in the event the fire reaches that area.
Evacuation orders are in place for private residences along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and Sprague Creek, Avalanche, and Fish Creek Campgrounds. The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains open between St. Mary and Logan Pass but is closed between the foot of Lake McDonald (near Apgar) and Logan Pass.
Fire Restrictions: Glacier National Park and most of western Montana are under Stage II Fire Restrictions. No campfires are permitted in Glacier’s front country or backcountry. Smoking is also 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.