Yellowstone National Park Fire Update for August 26, 2012 - 10:00 a.m.
National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
Al Nash or Dan Hottle
August 26, 2012 - 10:00 a.m.
Summary: For the third consecutive day, windy, dry Red Flag conditions Saturday afternoon resulted in an increase in fire activity and growth on the Cygnet Fire in Yellowstone National Park. Fire managers expect the same to occur today as Red Flag conditions will continue until 10:00 p.m. this evening. Isolated thunderstorms forecast for later in the afternoon also brings the chance for lightning and new fire starts. The Fire Danger Level in Yellowstone is Extreme, and fire restrictions remain in effect. Firefighters and equipment from Yellowstone, along with Saguaro National Park (Arizona), Big Thicket National Preserve (Texas), Gallatin National Forest, Park County Rural and Paradise Valley Fire Departments (Montana) are assisting on the Cygnet Fire as well as on other smaller fires still burning in the park.
Cygnet Fire: This lightning-caused fire 5 miles southeast of Norris Junction experienced some growth and put a significant amount of smoke into the air most of the day Saturday. It is now estimated at just over 900 acres. Firefighters continue efforts to protect a utility corridor south of the road between Norris and Canyon in case the fire reaches the area. A section of the backcountry trails and campsites along the Canyon-to-Norris road have also been closed. Heavy smoke from the fire will be visible along several sections of park roadways and may even hinder driving visibility at times. Visitors are asked to use extreme caution while driving where firefighting crews are working along roadways. This fire was discovered on August 10.
Other Fires: The Range Fire is located 8 ½ miles southwest of Tower Fall. It was discovered on July 26 and is approximately 130 acres. The Dewdrop Fire is located 9 miles southeast of Canyon Village. It was discovered on July 29 and is estimated at 80 acres. Firefighters also continue to monitor the Agate, Dewdrop 2 and Camera fires, all of which are less than one acre. None of these lightning-caused fires have shown much activity in recent days, but each has the potential to grow under the right weather conditions. While each of these fires may produce smoke when actively burning, most of the visible haze and smoke smell present in the region is drifting from fires burning in Idaho and California.
Weather: The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for Yellowstone through 10:00 p.m. this evening due to a forecast for dry lighting lightning and gusty winds from isolated thunderstorms. Continued warm daytime temperatures, low humidity and dry fuels combine to create critical fire conditions and potential for significant fire growth.
Fire Restrictions: Any fire which can produce an ash is prohibited in the backcountry. Smoking is prohibited along all trails and anywhere in the backcountry. Smoking is allowed in vehicles and along roads, near buildings, and in developed campgrounds or picnic areas if you are standing in an area at least three feet in diameter where nothing on the ground will burn. Campfires are allowed only in established fire grates or fire rings in picnic areas, campgrounds and housing areas. Charcoal grills are okay in these same areas as well. You can use portable stoves and lanterns which use propane, white gas, kerosene, or jellied petroleum for fuel anywhere in the park.
Impacts to visitors and area residents: All park entrances, roads, campgrounds, lodging, stores, and other visitor services are open. Backcountry closure details are available at any park Visitor Center or Backcountry Office. Backcountry information can also be obtained by calling 307-344-2160.
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