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    National Park ID,MT,WY

Magpie Fire Magpie Fire Grows Slightly in the Past Week

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Date: August 7, 2006
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012

The Magpie Fire burning in Yellowstone’s backcountry has grown a little more than 100 acres in the past week.  Sunday afternoon it was mapped at 1,235 acres. It was last mapped at 1,123 acres on Monday afternoon, July 31. The lightning-caused fire has been burning for three weeks in a remote area seven miles east of Madison Junction. 

The forecast for the next several days calls for isolated showers and thundershowers, with little chance of significant precipitation, and daytime highs in the 70s. Yellowstone National Park is also in a drying trend. Both indicate the potential for increased fire activity, as is typical for this time of year.

The Magpie Fire is burning in a mature lodgepole pine forest, surrounded by an area which was burned in 1988. It is being monitored on the ground, from lookout towers and by over flights.   

While the Magpie Fire may grow, the only impact it is expected to have on visitors and park employees is some increased smoke. This could cause a light haze over portions of the park.  Smoke may also pool at times in low lying areas.

All visitor services, park entrances and roads are open. There are no fire restrictions in effect.  Some hiking trails near the Magpie Fire remain closed.

Yellowstone National Park exists in part to protect nature at work. Fire is an essential part of the park’s dynamic, natural process of ecological change and rejuvenation. The Magpie Fire is being managed as a Wildland Fire Use for Resource Benefits, since it benefits the ecosystem and doesn’t pose a threat to people or property. Firefighters aggressively work to put out all human-caused fires and any naturally occurring fires when they threaten people or the park’s developed areas.

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. There have been just five fires reported in the park this year. Two dozen lightning caused fires are reported in the park in an average year; most never get larger than the size of a couple of football fields.

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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