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


    National Park ID,MT,WY

Fires In Bechler Area Continue To Grow

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Date: September 17, 2007
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2010
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2012

Two lightning caused fires in the southwest corner of Yellowstone National Park are actively burning despite fall’s shorter days and cooler temperatures.


The Cave Falls Fire was discovered on September 9. Is continues to burn to the northeast toward the Pitchstone Plateau. Aerial reconnaissance today estimated the fire at 200 acres.


The Big Grassy Fire is believed to have smoldered for several days until favorable weather caused it to produce enough smoke to be discovered late Saturday afternoon. It is about 25 acres in size.


Both these fires are being actively managed as a Wildland Fires Used for Resource Benefit, since they pose no threat to people or property.  These fires have the potential to develop a smoke column visible for several miles when actively burning.


The forecast for the Bechler area calls for a slight chance of precipitation into early next week, with daytime highs in the 60s and overnight lows near freezing. 


The park conducted a successful prescribed fire Sunday at Norris Junction. The 65 acre burn was conducted to remove accumulated dead plant material under controlled conditions in order to reduce the future threat of a wildland fire to the Norris developed area. The fire was ignited about 10:30 Sunday morning, with most active burning subsiding by 6:00 p.m.  Portions of the fire continue to smolder. This area is being actively patrolled.


No fire behavior or smoke has been observed for several days on the Columbine Fire, the Promontory Complex, the Beaverdam Fire, or the Lookout Fire. They continue to be regularly monitored by firefighters. 


None of the fires in the park pose a threat to visitors.  All park entrances, roads and seasonal visitor services are open.


Some backcountry campsites are temporarily closed and some trails are restricted to day-use only due to their proximity to the Cave Falls Fire.  Some campsites on The Promontory also remain closed because of the Promontory Complex. Updated information is available at all of the park’s Backcountry Offices or by calling 307-344-2160 during business hours. 


Yellowstone National Park aggressively works to suppress all human-caused fires and any naturally occurring fires when they threaten people or developed areas.  


Yellowstone averages twenty-two lightning caused fires a year. Seventeen of the twenty-five fires which have occurred in the park this year were started by lightning. 


- www.nps.gov/yell -

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