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Snake Fire Update - August 6, 2013 @ 9:15 p.m. MDT

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Date: August 6, 2013

U.S. Department of the Interior

National Park Service
Grand Teton National Park
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway
Yellowstone National Park

U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Forest Service 
Bridger-Teton National Forest 

 Contacts: Bridger-Teton National Forest – Mary Cernicek 307-739-5564 
 Grand Teton National Park – Traci Weaver 307-739-3692
 Yellowstone National Park – Al Nash or Dan Hottle 307-344-2015

 ----------------- SNAKE FIRE UPDATE ----------------- 

August 6, 2013 @ 9:15 p.m. MDT 

Reported: Monday afternoon, August 5, 2013 
Location: Three miles east of Yellowstone’s South Entrance Station along the boundary of the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Yellowstone National Park 
Cause: Lightning is suspected 
Current Size: Estimated at 40 acres – Zero percent contained 

 Overview:  The Snake Fire was discovered shortly after 4:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon, August 5, burning in heavy timber about three miles east of the South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park along the boundary with the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The area had received numerous lightning strikes last Wednesday, and it is believed one of these strikes smoldered and came to life Monday starting the fire. Firefighting efforts are being jointly managed by the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park. 

Tuesday’s Activities: The cooler temperatures contributed to limited fire activity Tuesday. The fire experienced little growth and remains estimated at 40 acres. Efforts began on establishing an Incident Command Post at Grant Village to support firefighting efforts. Firefighters were deployed to protect a backcountry cabin, post trail closures, and gather fuel samples to aid fire behavior modeling that will be used to develop short and long-term fire management strategies. 

Wednesday’s Weather Forecast: Sunny skies, light winds, and a minimum relative humidity of around 20 percent are forecast for the fire area; with a chance of isolated thunderstorms returning on Thursday. The Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park are all in “High” fire danger. 

Wednesday’s Planned Firefighting Actions: A Type 3 helicopter which arrived late Tuesday will be employed in support of firefighting operations. Firefighters will continue their efforts to protect a backcountry patrol cabin. Firefighters will also be deployed to staff the Mt. Sheridan Fire Lookout. Another crew will staff a Type 6 wildland engine and begin developing plans for structure protection around the park’s South Entrance should it be needed.

Impacts to visitors and area residents: Some trails and backcountry campsites near Yellowstone’s South Entrance have been temporarily closed. A map of the closure area is posted to the fire’s InciWeb site. At times a tall smoke column rising above the fire may be seen from locations a very long distance away from the fire. However, all roads leading into and through the parks and the forest and all campgrounds, lodging, stores, and visitor services are open. The fire poses no threat to visitors or area residents. 

Public and firefighter safety is always the first concern and priority. The Greater Yellowstone area is a fire adapted ecosystem. Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of this area’s wildlife habitat and vegetation. Fires are managed to protect people and property, enhance the area’s natural resources where appropriate, and safely and effectively use available firefighting resources. 

Updated information: The next fire update will be prepared and distributed by Noon Wednesday, August 7. Updates will be posted online at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3600/.


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