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2000 Fire Report

The total acreage burned in Yellowstone National Park in 2000 is 7,209 acres or 2,919 hectares, mostly in the southwest portion of the park. There were 32 ignitions (28 lightning caused and 4 human caused). Many fires were small and were suppressed or extinguished themselves naturally. Four fires exceeded 100 hectares (247 acres) in size.

Fire Summary Table

#
Fire
Cause
Duration
Status*
Acres
Hectares
1
Substation
Powerline
29 May
Out
0.1
0.04
2
Cygnet
Powerline 5 Jun
Out
0.1
0.04
3
Astringent
Lightning
28 Jun-1 Jul
Out 0.1 0.04
4
Headwaters
Lightning
18 Jul-16 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04
5
Two Smokes
Lightning
18 Jul-16 Aug
Out 2
0.8
6
Union
Human
25 Jul
Out 0.1 0.04
7
Petrified
Lightning 1 Aug-2 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04
8
Chittenden
Lightning 1 Aug
Out 1
0.4
9
Signal
Lightning 2 Aug
Out 0.5
0.08
10
Trapper
Lightning 2 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04
11
Beaver Dam
Lightning 2 Aug-4 Aug
Out 0.5
0.2
12
Jones Pass
Lightning 2 Aug
Out 25
10
13
Alum Creek
Lightning 2 Aug-4 Aug
Out 0.5
0.2
14
Bridge
Lightning 2 Aug
Out 2
0.8
15
Nine
Lightning 3 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04
16
Slate
Lightning 4 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04
17
Elephant
Lightning 11 Aug
Out 2
0.8
18
Trailer
Lightning 12 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04
19
Spruce
Lightning 13 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04
20
Unlucky
Lightning 12 Aug
Out 2688
1088
21
Fred
Lightning 15 Aug
Out 1.5
0.6
22
Moose
Lightning 15 Aug
Out 1340
543
23
Star
Lightning 15 Aug
Out 2
0.8
24
Thumb
Lightning 15 Aug
Out 0.5
0.2
25
Boundary
Lightning 15 Aug
Out 376
152
26
Mallard
Lightning 15 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04
27
Lost Spring
Lightning 15 Aug
Out 5
2
28
Firehole
Lightning 15 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04
29
Plateau
Lightning 16 Aug
Out 2763
1119
30
Knothead
Human
16 Aug-17 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04
31
Stone
Lightning
19 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04
32
Basin
Lightning
23 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04
33
Hancock
Lightning 23 Aug
Out 0.1 0.04

* Con = Controlled, Out = Out

 
Fire Narratives

Basin 23 August. The basin fire was discovered by the Mount Sheridan lookout southeast of Mount Sheridan. This fire and the Hancock fire are likely "sleeper" fires that were ignited during a lightning storm on 19 August. An initial attack squad has been dispatched to suppress the fire.

24 August. Declared controlled early in the afternoon.

Hancock 23 August. This fire was discovered during a reconnaissance flight east of Mount Hancock. Eight smokejumpers were dispatched from West Yellowstone.

24 August. Declared controlled early in the afternoon.

Stone 19 August. The stone fire is burning in a stringer of whitebark pine and Engelmann spruce surrounded by meadow on the Pitchstone Plateau. Active flame lengths of 1-2 feet were observed at the base of the strike tree.

24 August. Little activity has been observed in the past few days and fire managers expect that this fire will naturally burn itself out.

13 September. Fire monitors visited the Stone Fire and found no hotspots.

Glade 15 August 2000. This fire started in the Rockefeller Parkway on 8/15 and moved north onto the southern border of Yellowstone National Park on 8/17. This fire threatened Flagg Ranch and caused a temporary closure of the South entrance. It was measured at 1650 acres on 8/16 and is expected to grow more than 2000 acres.

20 August This fire has not yet burned into the park but is within a kilometer of the boundary several kilometers west of the south entrance.

Knothead 16 August 2000. This fire was an illegal campfire immediately extinguished after located.

Plateau 16 August 2000. The fire was reported at 3-5 acres at 10:30 am and estimated at 40 acres at 5:00 pm burning on the west side of Boundary Creek in moderate to heavy lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce. The fire had frequent torching and a short running crown fire. It is currently unmanned and cabin protection precautions will be taken on 8/17 on the Buffalo Lake patrol cabin 2 miles to the NW.

19 August 2000. The fire has grown to 370 acres in size and is still unmanned. It has left the Engelmann spruce fuels in the Boundary creek drainage and spotted out into the lodgepole pine forests to the West and Northwest.

23 August. The Plateau Fire made a significant run yesterday. A reconnaissance flight circled the fire but the exact increase in acreage is unknown due to thick smoke.

24 August. The acreage from yesterday's activity increased to 1,800 acres. An overflight revealed very little activity or growth at the fire's perimeter today. A monitoring crew is camped on the fire.

25-26 August. The Fire Effects crew established two monitoring plots at the head and flank of the fire to research the effects of fire on the vegetation. On Friday there was little perimeter growth although hot spots at the head of the fire and in the interior continued to flare. Cloudy weather on Saturday kept fire activity low.

28 August. The Plateau fire experienced relatively moderate fire activity for the day. Occasional to frequent torching was observed over the northern portion of the fire. The head of the fire continues to move slowly northeast and will experience a change in fuel structure in the next few burn periods as dense timber gives way to open meadows. No backing or westerly spread was observed toward the Buffalo Lake patrol cabin 1.5 miles west of the fire.

1 September. Fire monitors continue to assess the movement and behavior of the Plateau Fire. Helicopter bucket drops in the last week have taken the heat out of the south side of the fire in order to check westward spread toward the Buffalo Lake Cabin and the Targhee Forest. The fire has grown little over the past few days due to cool, cloudy weather.

4 September. A few smokes were seen during an aerial reconnaissance but fire activity has diminished due to rain. There has been no recent increase in acreage.

12 September. This fire continues to have some activity along the northeast boundary of the fire but none along the western boundary. It is putting up very little smoke.

19 September. There has been little to no activity due to rains which fire managers consider the season ending event.

Firehole 15 August 2000. Fire was manned on 8/16 and no significant activity was observed. The fire is less than 1 acre in size.

19 August 2000. Declared controlled.

Lost Spring 15 August 2000. This fire is manned and no significant activity was observed on 8/16 and is 1 acre in size. It is just inside the west boundary of the park in light to moderate fuels and relatively gentle terrain.

19 August 2000. Declared controlled.

Mallard
15 August 2000. This is an unconfirmed smoke report in the Old Faithful area. The location will be monitored from the air for any fire activity.

19 August 2000. Declared controlled.

Boundary 15 August 2000. The fire is just inside the park boundary north of the Grassy Lake Reservoir in an area burned during 1988. The fire escaped initial attack and was estimated at 2.5 acres at 3:00 pm and at 5-7 acres at 7:00 pm. The fire appears to be carried by cured grasses and has been torching in unburned stringers of trees, the resulting spot fires have hampered control efforts.

19 August 2000. Currently unmanned at 120 acres. Thefire continues to be carried by cured grasses and has been torching in unburned stringers of trees; most recent activity was observed on the north and northeast flanks.

21-22 August. There was some perimeter growth of about 15 acres on Tuesday as the relative humidity reached 11% and fire activity picked up. The Fire Effects crew established two monitoring plots on the Boundary Fire. These plots will help fire managers learn about how wildfire will behave in the expansive areas of the park that burned in 1988.

28 August. Westerly winds continued to push the northeastern flank. When burning, the fire puts out plenty of smoke, but its rate of spread is slow. The fire is about 240 acres and burning incompletely; approximately 40% of the fuels within the perimeter remain unburned. The fire is staffed with 16 firefighters who are taking holding actions along the south flank to prevent spread to the south.

1 September. Firefighters have secured the fire to the south and are concentrating on containing its northward spread into heavier timber. There was little activity yesterday, mainly on the west and northwest flank. There was little to no increase in spread. The Bechler area received a light rain (~0.04") last night.

4 September. Recent rain has diminished fire activity. One smoke was seen during an aerial reconnaissance. There has been no recent increase in acreage.

12 September. Recent cool and wet weather has resulted in minimal fire activity.

19 September. There has been little to no activity due to rains which fire managers consider the season ending event.

Thumb 15 August 2000. This fire started West of West Thumb with 2-3 miles of 1988 burn between the fire and the West Thumb developed area to the east. It is manned by 3 firefighters and no significant activity was observed today.

19 August 2000. Declared controlled.

Star 15 August 2000. This fire is 1-2 acres in size; fire was manned on 8/16 and no significant activity was observed.

19 August 2000. Declared controlled.

Moose 15 August 2000. This fire started as two fires about 1/8 mile apart and burned together; fire is unmanned and mapped at 266 acres; head of the fire has burned into a 1988 burn. It has spotted out into the old burn as well as into unburned islands within the 1988 perimeter; fire is currently not carrying or being sustained in the old burn.

19 August 2000. Fire is mapped at 1200 acres. It more than doubled in size yesterday evening as SE winds moved the whole NW flank out into heavier fuels dominated by Engelmann spruce and lodgepole pine. The NE flank of the fire has bumped into the old 1988 burn and continues to spot out into that burn.

28 August. No significant spread was observed today, but the fire continues to burn and torch unburned fuels within the mapped perimeter. Many spot fires still remain on the northeast flank where the fire has moved into the 1988 burn. Additional spot fires were observed on the northwest flank approximately a quarter mile away from the main fire.

1 September. Three smokejumpers continue to monitor the Moose Fire and assess its behavior and spread.

4 September. Several smokes were seen during an aerial reconnaissance but there hase been little fire activity due to recent rain. There has been no increase in acreage.

12 September. There has been little fire activity and smoke on this fire due to cool, wet weather. Previously burned areas from the 1988 fires are helping to naturally contain this fire.

19 September. There has been little to no activity due to rains which fire managers consider the season ending event.

Fred 15 August 2000. This fire is on a steep ridge with heavy to moderate fuels; heavy fuels to the N/NE; smokejumpers jumped the fire on 8/16, and no significant activity has been observed throughout the day; 1-2 acres in size.

19 August 2000. Declared controlled.

Unlucky 13 August. This fire was a lightning fire that quickly grew to 90 acres; burning in moderate to heavy fuels up onto the SW corner of the Pitchstone Plateau; very light fuels at the NE head of the fire-- heavier fuels to the east; currently unmanned at 870 acres. Significant activity on the east flank at the head of the fire.

19 August. Currently unmanned at 1500 acres; burning in moderate to heavy fuels up onto the SW corner of the Pitchstone Plateau. Fuels are light at the NE head of the fire with heavier fuels to the east. Most recent growth occurred on the SW flank where SE winds moved that flank to the W/NW. Significant future activity is expected on the east flank with the return of more normal SE wind patterns.

24 August. This fire is mostly burning fuels within its perimeter and is not substantially expanding.

28 August. Fire activity was relatively moderate for the day. The fire consists mainly of three hot spots. The northeast flank continued to consume fuels within the established perimeter at the headwalls of the Mountain Ash Creek drainage. On the southeastern flank, the fire continued to back down into the Mountain Ash Creek drainage. Last, the southwest corner of the fire experienced occasional torching. However, no significant movement towards the Bechler Canyon was observed. The Pitchstone Plateau continues to function as a fuel break, slowing or stopping significant fire spread to the northeast. In the coming burn periods, the fire will likely continue to back down the Mountain Ash Drainage on the eastern flanks and creep towards Bechler canyon on the southwest corner. The fire is currently 2300 acres. Acreage increases were predominantly along the northeaster corner of the fire.

12 September. This fire is mostly burning in fuels within its perimeter and is putting up a small amount of smoke. It is not substantially expanding due to recent cool, wet weather.

19 September. There has been little to no activity due to rains which fire managers consider the season ending event.

Spruce, Trailer, Elephant, Slate, and Nine fires.

19 August 2000. Declared controlled.

Bridge 2 August 2000. This lightning caused 10 acre fire is located near Lake campground, marina, and developed areas. Crews have put hand line around the fire and are being supported by helicopter bucket drops and retardant. Containment is expected by late 3 August.

Alum 2 August 2000. This lightning caused fire is a half acre and expected to be suppressed by Park crews by 3 August.

The fire was declared out on 4 August.

Jones Pass 2 August 2000. This lightning caused fire is active and burning on the eastern edge of the Park threatening the Absaroka Wilderness. The greatest concern is fire spreading into the Crow Creek drainage. Four smokejumpers were dispatched to the fire and supported with retardant and helicopter bucket drops. More firefighters were dispatched to the fire on 3 August. The fire has grown to 25 acres.

Beaver Dam 2 August 2000. This half acre lightning caused fire was lined and suppressed by smoke jumpers and declared out on 4 August.

Trapper 2 August 2000. This is a lightning caused fire and is of low threat. Presently it is unstaffed and being monitored from the air.

Signal (near Signal Point of Lake) 2 August 2000. Fire started by lightning in heavy fuels on the east shore of Yellowstone Lake. The fire was initial attacked by Lake District personnel and helitack. Crews are working to line the fire as of 3 August.

Chittenden (Mt. Washburn) 1 August 2000. On Tuesday afternoon the Mt. Washburn lookout called in the fire burning near the Mt. Washburn trail. A squad was dispatched and worked through the night to line the one acre fire. They were supported by helicopter bucket drops on the morning of 2 August to control the fire. The fire is presently being monitored.

Petrified (Tower) 1 August 2000. On Tuesday afternoon the Fire Dispatch Office received a phone report of a smoke near Petrified tree. The Tower district and helitack crews were dispatched to this one tree fire which was suppressed and lined by 1900 hours and declared out on 2 August 2000.

Union 25 July 2000. Human caused fire near Union Falls. Fire was suppressed and called out the same day.

Headwaters and Two Smokes Fires On 18 July 2000 the Mount Sheridan lookout reported a fire on the Pitchstone Plateau. Monitors discovered two fires from the air, burning approximately one kilometer apart on the south end of the plateau. Both fires were ignited by lightning and are burning in whitebark pine-subalpine fir clumps surrounded by meadow (fuel model 2). 1000 hour fuel moistures at Bechler Ranger Station are 16-18%. As of 20 July fire monitors are camped out on the fires.

21 July 2000 No growth from yesterday.

23-24 July 2000 The Fire Effects crew installed a monitoring plot adjacent to the Two Smokes fire and sampled the vegetation and fuels. The fire was smoldering in heavy fuels with occasional flare-ups in duff and litter. On Monday afternoon the relative humidity dropped to 22%. The fire reached a jackpot of fine fuels in the late afternoon and the burned area increased to about 0.5 acres. As of Tuesday morning the fire had largely burned the available fuels and is expected to smolder with no significant growth. The Headwaters Fire showed little activity Tuesday morning, smoldering in the roots of a snag, and is not expected to grow.

16 August 2000 Both fires declared out.

Astringent Creek Fire 29 June 2000. On Wednesday morning the Fire Dispatch Office received a report from an airplane of a smoke south of White Lake. Monitors were dispatched to locate the fire and assess the fuels. Monitors located a single smoking snag ignited by lightning in an area burned in 1994. The vegetation is currently green and not likely to carry fire. Heavy fuel (1000 hour) moistures are estimated at 21%.

1 July 2000 Monitors hiked in to the Astringent fire and declared it out. The fire never spread from the base of the burning snag.

Did You Know?

Summer Crowd at Old Faithful.

At peak summer levels, 3,500 employees work for Yellowstone National Park concessioners and about 800 work for the National Park Service.