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Butte Fire Update - Friday, September 4 – 2:30 p.m.

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Date: September 4, 2009
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307 344-2015

National Park Service

U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park

P.O. Box 168

Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

News Release # 09-072

Public Affairs Office 307 344-2015




Friday, September 4 – 2:30 p.m.

Fire Location: East of the Buffalo Ranch and north of the Northeast Entrance Road on Druid Peak, 16 miles southwest of Cooke City, Montana

Estimated Size: 110 acres

Started: August 30, 2009

Cause: Lightning

Overview: Lightning from a thunderstorm which moved across the northern portion of Yellowstone National Park on Sunday evening, August 30, started four small fires. The fire, which started in Whitebark pine beneath the summit of Druid Peak north of Soda Butte, remained small and quiet for several days. Changing weather conditions on Wednesday, September 2, resulted in increased fire activity and fire growth. There have been fifteen fires in Yellowstone National Park this summer. Thirteen of the fifteen were caused by lightning. So far, all but the Butte Fire have been less than a half acre in size.

Last 48 hours: The fire has grown from 40 acres to 110 acres since Wednesday evening. It is moving downhill and to the south-southeast into Lodgepole pine, remaining well away from the Northeast Entrance road. The fire has not moved across the ridge line into the spruce and fir forest located to the north of the fire.

Management Strategy: Most fires occurring in the Greater Yellowstone Area are caused by lightning. Yellowstone National Park is a fire adapted ecosystem. Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of the area’s wildlife and vegetation. Firefighters are monitoring and managing the Butte Fire in order to protect people and property, enhance the area’s natural resources, and effectively use available firefighting resources.

Impacts to visitors and area residents: Public and firefighter safety is always the park’s first concern and priority. The Butte Fire poses no threat to visitors or area residents. Smoke and flames may be visible at times from along the Northeast Entrance road. Winds may carry smoke northeast into the Pebble Creek Campground and the communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City. Smoke may also settle overnight in river and creek drainages and along the valley floor.

Park Status: All park entrances and seasonal visitor services are open. There are no roads, trails, or campgrounds closed in connection with the Butte Fire.

Weather Forecast: The fire danger in Yellowstone National Park is "Moderate". The National Weather Service forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a chance of isolated afternoon showers and thunderstorms for the next several days. There is a chance of snow showers on Labor Day. Daytime highs in the 70s will drop to the mid 50s by Monday. Overnight lows will be in the 40s, but drop to near freezing by Monday night.

Additional Fire Information: Updated information including photos and maps (when available) are posted to the web at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1881. Updates are also available by calling the park’s 24-hour fire information line at 307-344-2580. At times the fire is also visible from the Mt. Washburn Fire Lookout Web Cam at http://www.nps.gov/archive/yell/tours/livecams/mtwashburn/index.htm.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

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