Cooler Weather Expected to Calm Fires Across the Region

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. The Latest—Howe Ridge Fire burning within 150 yards of Inside North Fork Road—New fire reported in the Bob Marshall Wilderness—Mountain snow forecast for regionUpdated: Aug. 26, 11 a.m.An incoming weather front bringing cooler temperatures and even snow in some places is expected to calm — but not extinguish — fires across Northwest Montana later today and tomorrow.The National Weather Service in Missoula predicted widespread rain showers across western Montana and even snow above 7,000 feet. The cooler weather should give firefighters a chance to reinforce their fire lines and prepare for future efforts when warm weather returns.The Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park remains the largest blaze in the area, having torched 12,420 acres as of Sunday morning. The fire continues to inch toward the southwest, and is now less than 150 yards from the Inside North Fork Road, which is being used as an impromptu fire line to protect the Fish Creek Campground and Apgar Village. On the northeast side, the fire has been slowed by natural features like avalanche chutes, giving firefighters a chance to reinforced existing trails with sprinklers to serve as fire lines.The upper Lake McDonald area and Fish Creek Campground remained evacuated. An evacuation warning remains in effect for Apgar Village and the Going-to-the-Sun Road remains closed on the west side.Further north, the Boundary Fire has burned approximately 2,000 acres west of Waterton Lake. The fire was first discovered on Aug. 23 and exploded to more than 1,500 acres in one night but since then it has slowed dramatically. The National Park Service and Parks Canada are coordinating firefighting efforts. On Saturday, firefighters hiked into the fire to see if there was a way to contain it in the Boundary Creek drainage. Firefighters have set up sprinklers in the Goat Haunt area to protect 14 threatened structures.All trails originating from Goat Haunt are closed. Parks Canada has also closed nearly all of Waterton Lakes National Park as a result of the fire.Three fires on the Flathead National Forest continue to burn. The Paola Ridge Fire had torched 712 acres as of Sunday 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 3,178 acres, forcing an evacuation warning for a number of homes along Pipe Creek Road between mile makers 11 and 13.This story will be updated when additional information becomes available.  Emaillast_img read more