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


    National Park ID,MT,WY

Magpie Fire Remains Quiet

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Date: August 3, 2006
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012

Continued cool, damp weather resulted in little fire activity Wednesday on the Magpie Fire in Yellowstone National Park. The fire remains at 1,123 acres in size.

The lightning-caused fire is burning in the backcountry seven miles east of Madison Junction, well away from roads and developed areas. It is burning in a mature lodgepole pine forest, surrounded by an area which was burned in 1988. The Magpie Fire is being monitored on the ground, from lookout towers and by over flights.

Yellowstone National Park exists in part to protect nature at work. Naturally occurring fires are an essential part of the park’s dynamic, natural process of ecological change and rejuvenation. The Magpie Fire is being managed a Wildland Fire Use for Resource Benefits, since it benefits the ecosystem and doesn’t pose a threat to people or property.

Peak fire season typically begins later, lasts for a shorter period, and ends earlier in Yellowstone than it does in surrounding areas. The moisture content of living and dead plants and trees in the park is much higher than it is at lower elevations. That’s why Yellowstone has not had any large, fast growing fires like those which have already occurred to the north and east of the park this summer.

Fire managers believe the Magpie Fire has a great deal of potential to grow in size. The fire danger in the park remains high, although there are currently no fire restrictions in effect. Some hiking trails near the Magpie Fire remain closed. All visitor services, park entrances and roads are open.

There have been five fires in the park this year. Three have been declared out. The only other active fire in the park is northeast of Tower Junction. The Bison Peak Fire has burned an area just one-tenth of an acre.

When weather conditions change, the Magpie Fire may grow and produce smoke which can pool in low lying areas at time or result in a light haze over portions of the park. Virtual visitors can monitor the Magpie Fire in real-time by viewing the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout Web Cam at http://www.nps.gov/yell/tours/livecams/mtwashburn.

Updated information on fire activity in Yellowstone National Park 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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