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


    National Park ID,MT,WY

Small Fire Prompts Temporary Trail Closure

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Date: September 14, 2009
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2015

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
September 14, 2009     09-085   
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015


Small Fire Prompts Temporary Trail Closure In Yellowstone

Lightning from a thunderstorm which moved across the northern portion of the Yellowstone National Park Sunday evening started a fire on Sepulcher Mountain, near the park’s northern boundary and about three miles west-northwest of Mammoth Hot Springs.

The Rainbow Fire is less than a half acre in size.  As a precaution, rangers have temporarily closed the Sepulcher Mountain Trail.  This closure does not impact any popular fishing areas or backcountry camp sites. 

The fire is well away from Mammoth Hot Springs, Gardiner, and all park roads and visitor services.  All park entrances and seasonal visitor services are open.

Most fires occurring in the Greater Yellowstone Area are caused by lightning. This is the 17th fire reported in Yellowstone National Park this summer.  Only two were caused by people. 

Yellowstone National Park is a fire-adapted ecosystem where fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of the area’s wildlife and vegetation.

Firefighters will monitor the Rainbow Fire by air and from the ground.  It is being managed in order to protect people and property, enhance the area’s natural resources, and effectively use available firefighting resources.  

The only fire in the park to grow more than a half acre in size this summer is the Butte Fire in the Lamar Valley. It has exhibited little activity in the past few days, and remains estimated at 200 acres in size.

Shorter fall days and cooler nights mean the Rainbow Fire has a decreasing amount of time each day to become active and grow.   However, a smoke column or occasional individual trees burning may be visible in the late afternoon or early evening hours along the park’s North Entrance Road and in the community of Gardiner.

The fire danger in Yellowstone National Park is "moderate".   The National Weather Service forecast for the Mammoth Hot Springs area calls for daytime highs in the 70s and overnight lows in the 40s, with a chance of showers through Tuesday night and again over the weekend.

Updated information on the temporary trail closure is available by calling 307-344-2160 or by checking with any of the park’s Backcountry offices.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

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