A new report on Montana’s largest fire this year: the Howe Ridge Fire burning in Glacier National Park, has the size of the burn at just over 12,850 acres. According to Fire Information Officer Sonja Hartmann, the cost of the fighting that fire is  now over 9.4 million dollars, but it does appear the fire is slowing down.

"It is backing down very slowly into the cedar and hemlock forest and that forest has proven to not hold fire and move fire very quickly," Hartmann said. "We have less concerns after watching how it has sort of been slowed down. It is smoldering. It is not out, but it is not going to move quickly through there so we feel like there is a safety piece that we understand better.

Changes in the fire’s behavior mean that the west side of the park will soon be opened in a limited way.

"As of Friday, the park will be giving special access back from the west side, from the Apgar Visitor Center area going up the sun road to Logan Pass," Hartmann said. "That will be through use of the park shuttles, the red bus and the sun tours as well."

To get a shuttle through the west side of Glacier National Park visitors will need to go online and get a free pass from the park or work through one of the concession providers.

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