MTPR

Montana Wildfire Roundup for August 19, 2018

Aug 19, 2018

Update 6:44 p.m.

Unhealthy air conditions were widespread in Montana today, prompting Air Quality Alerts in every county, according to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

The DEQ announced this afternoon that smoke is affecting the entire state and air quality levels range from “unhealthy for sensitive groups” to “very unhealthy”.

The DEQ recommends the following for unhealthy air quality conditions:

“When air quality is Very Unhealthy... State and local health officials recommend that people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should avoid any outdoor activity; everyone else should avoid prolonged exertion.

“When air quality is Unhealthy... State and local health officials recommend that people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should avoid prolonged exertion; everyone else should limit prolonged exertion.

"When air quality is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups... State and local health officials recommend that people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should limit prolonged exertion.”

HERE is a link to Montana’s the latest air quality conditions.

Update 10:55 a.m.

Shifting winds in Glacier National Park are prompting additional evacuations and evacuation warnings near the Howe Ridge Fire, which is burning 7,835 acres along the northwest edge of Lake McDonald about 9 miles from West Glacier. 

The evacuation order issued this morning is for Fish Creek Campground.

Around nine o'clock this morning park rangers asked campers, National Park Service employees and the residents at the Fish Creek Ranger Station to start packing up and leaving the Fish Creek Campground area.

The Fish Creek Campground Road is now closed, along with the Inside North Fork Road. All trails off Camas Road are also now closed.

Jean Tabbert, a fire information officer with Glacier National Park, says an evacuation warning was issued this morning from the Quarter Circle Bridge Road north. This includes private businesses and residences in Apgar, the Grist Road and all areas accessed from the Quarter Circle Bridge Road.

The evacuation warning means people should be prepared to leave but are not being told to leave yet.

Changing weather patterns are expected in the area over the next day and a half, bringing cooler temperatures and stronger winds that could significantly impact fire behavior on the southern and western flanks of the Howe Ridge Fire.