Yellowstone fires cooling down

— August 29, 2013

(Press Release) The Druid Complex, once consisting of five active wildfires within the bounds of Yellowstone National Park, continues to respond to the effects of daily showers and higher relative humidity.  Currently, only the Alum and Druid fires are active, with the highest amount of remaining heat in the Alum fire.

The Alum Fire, at approximately 7300 acres, is located on the ridge approximately five miles northwest of Fishing Bridge Junction. It is most active on the northeast flank about 200 yards from Grand Loop Road. Active fire can be seen from the Mud Volcano area at times, as the fire slowly moves down slope towards the road and Yellowstone River.  Visitors to the Mud Volcano area have been able to observe single tree torching, especially during the breezy afternoons of recent days.  The fire is not expected to spread in the direction of Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, or Bridge Bay, but extensive indirect control lines have been constructed to ensure the protection of these areas should the fire make an unexpected move south.  Pull-offs along the Grand Loop Road between Fishing Bridge Junction and Mud Volcano remain closed to support the temporary prohibition of backcountry travel due to bear activity and potential fire impacts in the area.

The smaller Druid Fire, located in the northeast corner of the park on Druid Peak, is being monitored with remote cameras and weather instruments, as well as aircraft.  The fire is creeping slowly into the Rose Creek drainage to the north. On Wednesday, firefighters hiked to several historic backcountry  cabins in the vicinity of the fire to conduct structure assessments. Plans have been developed to protect the Buffalo Ranch and Yellowstone Institute in the unlikely event that the fire should make an unexpected move towards these facilities.

Isolated thunderstorms are forecast for Thursday. While monsoonal moisture has prevailed over the past week, a new weather pattern is expected to bring warmer, drier days with increased winds and lower relative humidity.  Both the Alum and Druid Fires will be monitored closely through this weather change, as it will certainly increase the potential for the fires to regain strength.

The three other fires in the park, the Alder, Passage, and Snake Fires continue to be monitored but have not shown any significant activity in recent days.

Impacts to visitors and area residents: All roads leading into and through the park and all visitor services including campgrounds, lodging, stores and visitor services in the park are open. Impacts from smoke have been minimal and will continue to be as long as the weather remains cool. All visitors are encouraged to check for updates often as road closures may be needed based on daily fire activity. Updated park road information is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.

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