After $12 Million Spent and 13 Homes Destroyed, Howe Ridge Fire in Death Throes
Weather pummeled the Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park on Sunday leading fire officials to open up the Going-to-the-Sun Road to the public on Monday. According to Fire Information Officer Penny Bertram the radical change in the weather led the Type 1 incident management Team to start packing their bags.
"The fire received between a quarter to a half-inch of rain as well as some light snowfall near the peak," Bertram said. That cold temperature dipping to near freezing temperatures absolutely changes how the fire can even behave... literally, we are disassembling, we are pulling out hose lays, we're removing water pumps."
Though smoldering now, Howe Ridge has easily been one of the most costly fires this year, especially after it exploded on August 11.
"The estimated cost is 12 million dollars, there were in total 13 residences that were lost as well as 14 other structures. It burned hot and incredibly fast, the fire created a huge column, that column collapsed and laid down so the fire was creating its own wind, and it blew embers clear across McDonald Lake and onto McDonald Lodge."
A Type Two Incident Management Team will take charge of the fire starting today. Bertram says the fire will likely keep smoking till even more snow falls, so far the fire is at just over 14,500 acres.