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Magpie Fire in Yellowstone Backcountry Over 300 Acres

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Date: July 20, 2006
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012

The Magpie Fire in Yellowstone National Park has grown to over 300 acres. Smoke from the fire is visible for several miles in all directions.

The fire was mapped at 335 acres after an over-flight Wednesday evening. The lightning caused fire was discovered Monday evening. It is burning in lodgepole pine forest completely surrounded by area burned in 1988 North Fork Fire

Firefighters are monitoring the fires growth and changing weather conditions on the ground, from the park’s fire lookout towers and by daily aerial reconnaissance. 

Because of the fire, the Mary Mountain trail is closed east of the first bridge crossing Nez Perce Creek and west of Violet Creek. The Cygnet Lakes trail is also closed.  No backcountry campsites are affected by the fire. Firefighters will work today to protect the Mary Mountain Patrol Cabin which is in the area. 

The Magpie Fire is being managed as a Wildland Fire Use for Resource Benefits since it supports one of the park’s fire management goals of allowing natural fires to play their role in the ecosystem and does not threaten any park visitors or property.

The park has received normal to above normal rainfall this spring and summer. The park’s current fire danger rating is high. The recent hot and dry weather with low humidity is forecast to continue for several days. The fire is expected to burn actively and increase in size each afternoon.  
 
There have been five wildland fires in the Yellowstone this year; three are currently burning with the Magpie Fire being the only active fire at this time. The other two fires remain under one-tenth of an acre in size. 

The smoke plume from the fire may be seen online from the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout web cam at http://www.nps.gov/yell/tours/livecams/mtwashburn/index.htm. Updated fire information is available at http://www.nps.gov/yell/technical/fire/index.htm.

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.