LAKE MCDONALD — The Howe Ridge Fire started Sunday as a small fire smoldering on a hillside overlooking Lake McDonald.
By nightfall it had become a massive inferno spewing smoke and flames hundreds of feet into the air and forcing the evacuation of a section of Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park officials are still trying to determine the extent of the destruction on Monday. Firefighters estimated the fire is between 1,500 and 2,500 acres and that it destroyed multiple homes and historic structures. The Going-to-the-Sun Road from the foot of Lake McDonald to Logan Pass is closed; the Lake McDonald Lodge complex has been evacuated, along with numerous cabins and campgrounds. The Sprague Campground will be evacuated later today.