Hot weather stokes three active Yellowstone fires
August 19, 2013
(Press Release) Sunday was the fourth hot, dry day in a row across Yellowstone, which resulted in continued growth on the three active fires in the park. All three fires produced tall smoke columns visible for several miles in all directions. In addition, smoke from fires outside the park to the north and west in Montana and Idaho also contributed to occasionally hazy conditions at some locations at times during the day. Fire managers continue to focus on providing for public and firefighter safety, and for the protection of structures, communities, and natural and historic resources.
Alum Fire: Winds prompted two fingers of this fire to grow to the southeast on Sunday, after a long northeast run on Saturday. This lightning caused fire was discovered in the backcountry west of Mud Volcano on Wednesday, August 14, and was only 3 acres until critical fire weather conditions Saturday afternoon prompted it to expand to 3,000 acres in a matter of hours. The fire grew another 1,000 acres on Sunday, bringing the estimated size to 4,000 acres. The fire perimeter remains within a mile of the Grand Loop Road south of Mud Volcano and there is the potential for temporary closures of the road between Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge Junction. The latest road status information is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.
Mud Volcano, LeHardy Rapids, and several picnic areas and pullouts, as well as, some backcountry trails in the area are temporarily closed.
Additional firefighters and engines arrived on Sunday and more are expected today and later in the week as fire mangers focus on protection of the road corridor, the boardwalk in Mud Volcano, and the nearby power line. As a precaution, structure protection efforts are already underway in Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, and Bridge Bay should the fire advance toward those areas in coming days. While area evacuations are not imminent, preparations are underway to assist residents and visitors in leaving the Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, and Bridge Bay area in the unlikely event that an evacuation is necessary in the coming days.
Alder Fire: This fire at the south end of Yellowstone Lake is producing a smoke column in the afternoon and evening visible from all around the lake. Sunday’s hot, dry, windy conditions prompted it to grow to 2,000 acres. However, it is on a peninsula at the south end of Yellowstone Lake and is hemmed in by water on three sides and by a recently burned area to the south. Several backcountry campsites on The Promontory have been temporarily closed. This lightning caused fire was discovered on August 14.
Druid Fire: This fire burning in a steep heavily timbered area on Druid Peak is visible at times from along the Northeast Entrance road. It increased slightly from 60 to 75 acres on Sunday. This fire was started by lightning and was discovered on Friday, August 9.
Other Fires: The Passage Fire was discovered Thursday at the south end of Yellowstone Lake. This lightning caused fire remains quiet and is just half an acre in size. Some smoke was again seen on the Snake Fire, located three miles east of the South Entrance along the boundary with the Bridger-Teton National Forest. It remains estimated at 200 acres. At times some of the park fires are visible on the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout Web Cams http://www.nps.gov/yell/
Weather: Another hot, dry day with gusty westerly winds is forecast for Yellowstone, which would prompt all three of the park’s active fires to grow again today.
Impacts to visitors and area residents: All roads leading into and through the park and the surrounding forest and all campgrounds, lodging, stores, and visitor services are open. These fires are not a threat to visitors or area residents. Updated park road information is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.
Additional information: Maps, photos, and update information can be found on the web at http://www.inciweb.org/unit/
5382/. You can also follow us on Twitter @YellowstoneNPS. The next fire update will be prepared and distributed by Noon Tuesday, August 20.