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Large Smoke Plume From Owl Fire

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Date: July 23, 2007
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2010
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2012

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

July 23, 2007 6:00 p.m. 07-45
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2010 or 344-2012




Large Smoke Plume From Owl Fire

Firefighters continue their efforts to contain the Owl Fire burning in the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park.

West Yellowstone Smokejumpers joined firefighters from Yellowstone National Park and the Gallatin National Forest as they work to suppress the Owl Fire. Operations on the fire were suspended this afternoon because thunderstorms in the area created erratic winds and unpredictable fire behavior. At times this afternoon a large smoke column from the Owl Fire was visible for several miles. Many large fires burning throughout the West are contributing to the smoke haze in the area.

The Owl Fire is now estimated at 303 acres. It is burning in a mature lodgepole and spruce-fir forest in the backcountry, away from roads and developed areas. The lightning- caused fire was discovered Friday afternoon. The Owl Fire is located east of U.S. 191, north of the Montana/Wyoming state line along Specimen Creek.

All visitor services, park entrances, and roads are open. Some trails and backcountry campsites near the Owl Fire are temporarily closed. Details are available by calling the Backcountry Office at (307) 344-2160.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team is on the way to manage the Owl Fire for Yellowstone National Park. They will set up an Incident Command Post in West Yellowstone, and take over management of the Owl Fire on Wednesday. This will allow Yellowstone firefighters to focus on dealing with any new fire starts in the park.

One new fire was discovered late last evening by the Mount Sheridan fire lookout. The Beaver Dam Fire is in the backcountry near the southeast arm of Yellowstone Lake. Smoke and thunderstorms in the area have made it difficult for firefighters to conduct aerial reconnaissance of the Beaver Dam Fire. No size estimate has yet been made.

There have been twelve fires in Yellowstone National Park this year. Four have been caused by people; the rest were started by lightning.

Fire restrictions have been in effect in Yellowstone National Park since July 3. The forecast calls for continued hot, dry, weather with the chance of isolated afternoon showers or thunderstorms.

Recorded information on the Owl Fire is available 24-hours a day by calling (307)344-2580, or on the web at http://inciweb.org/incident/855/ and http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

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