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Owl Fire Increases in Size Late Monday

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Date: July 24, 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 24, 2007 10:15 AM 07-46
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2010 or 344-2012




Owl Fire Increases In Size Late Monday

Gusty, erratic winds from a passing thunderstorm led to significant growth of the Owl Fire Monday afternoon.

The Owl Fire is burning in the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park, away from roads and developed areas. The lightning-caused fire was discovered on Friday, burning in a mature lodgepole pine and spruce/fir forest east of U.S. 191, north of the Montana/Wyoming state line.

Winds caused by the afternoon thunderstorm prompted fire managers to suspend operations because of erratic fire behavior. The winds pushed the fire across the Specimen Creek drainage. The Owl Fire produced a very large smoke column which was visible for several miles.

The fire was estimated at 303 acres at noon on Monday. Aerial reconnaissance is slated for this morning to get an updated fire size estimate. Firefighters will attempt to resume using helicopter bucket drops on the fire today.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team will take over management of the Owl Fire on Wednesday. This will allow Yellowstone National Park staff to focus on any new fire starts in the park.

Aerial reconnaissance is planned for later today for the Beaver Dam Fire, burning near the southeast arm of Yellowstone Lake. Smoke and afternoon thunderstorms prevented an evaluation on Monday.

The Owl Fire is one of several fires burning in the West which are contributing to smoke haze in the area. 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.

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.

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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