• Steam rises off of the colorful Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. Photo courtesy Jacob W. Frank


    National Park ID,MT,WY

Magpie Fire Now Over 1,100 Acres

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Date: August 1, 2006
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012

Mapping completed Monday afternoon now shows Yellowstone’s Magpie Fire at over 1,100 acres.

The fire, estimated at 890 acres on Sunday evening, has now been mapped at 1,123 acres. The increase in size is due to more accurate mapping, not as the result of any significant fire activity on Monday. The fire continues to smolder in places with active burning observed elsewhere inside and along its perimeter. Minimal torching of trees has been observed. Fire managers believe the fire has a great deal of potential to grow in size.

The interior of Yellowstone National Park is at much higher elevation than much of the rest of the region. The moisture content of living and dead trees and plants is still higher in the park than it is at lower elevations where large, fast growing fires have already occurred. Peak fire season typically arrives later, lasts for a shorter period, and ends earlier in the park than it does in surrounding areas. 

Although the fire danger in Yellowstone National Park remains high, the weather forecast indicates cooler weather in the next few days which is expected to result in limited fire growth. There are currently 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 is being monitored from the park’s three fire lookout towers, by aerial reconnaissance, and by firefighters on the ground. 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 Magpie Fire was spotted burning in mature lodgepole pine seven miles northeast of Madison Junction by fire lookouts the evening of July 17. It is surrounded by an area which was burned in 1988. The only other active fire in the park is the Bison Peak Fire. It has burned an area about a tenth of an acre in size northeast of Tower Junction.

When actively burning, smoke from the Magpie Fire may pool in low lying areas at times. The web cam on the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout is pointed in the direction of the fire and can be viewed 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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