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Magpie Fire Grows to 890 Acres Sunday

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Date: July 31, 2006
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012

High winds and low humidity caused the Magpie Fire to grow almost ten percent on Sunday.

The fire, burning in mature lodgepole in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park, is now estimated at 890 acres.  That’s an increase of 75 acres from Saturday afternoon.

A temporary weather station in place near the fire recorded sustained southwest winds near 30 miles an hour Sunday afternoon, with a peak gust of 51 miles an hour.  The relative humidity near the fire dipped to twelve percent.   This contributed to drying conditions and increased activity at the southwest and northeast corners of the Magpie Fire. 

Fire managers believe the Magpie Fire has a great deal of potential to grow in size.  Fuel moistures in the park’s interior are drying out, but have not yet reached the levels experienced in lower elevation areas surrounding the park.  The fire danger in Yellowstone National Park remains high. There are no fire restrictions in effect. Some hiking trails near the fire remain closed.  All visitor services, park entrances and roads are open. 

The Magpie Fire was spotted burning in mature lodgepole pine seven miles northeast of Madison Junction by fire lookouts two weeks ago.  It is surrounded by an area which was burned by the North Fork Fire of 1988. 

The Magpie Fire continues to be monitored on the ground, from the park’s three fire lookouts, and by over flights.  It is being managed as a Wildland Fire Use for Resource Benefits, since it supports the park’s goal of allowing natural fires to play their role in the ecosystem when they do not threaten any park visitors or property. 

The only other active fire in the park is northeast of Tower Junction.  The Bison Peak fire has burned an area one-tenth of an acre in size. 

When actively burning, the Magpie Fire can be seen on the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout Web Cam at http://www.nps.gov/yell/tours/livecams/mtwashburn.   Updated information is posted to the Wildland Fire section of the park web site at http://www.nps.gov/yell/technical/fire and the InciWeb Incident Information System web site at http://inciweb.org.

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