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Light Winds Slow Growth of Magpie Fire

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Date: July 22, 2006
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012

The Magpie Fire burning in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park increased just 140 acres on Friday. The fire as of late Friday afternoon was estimated at 690 acres.

The fire grew had been mapped at 550 acres Thursday evening. Cooler temperatures and lighter winds led to moderate fire behavior on Friday. 

The Magpie Fire is located about 7 miles east of Madison Junction. The lightning caused fire was spotted by fire lookouts Monday evening. It is burning in a section of mature lodgepole forest surrounded by an area burned in 1988. The fire is not near any roads or developed areas.

Firefighters are monitoring the fire’s growth on the ground, by daily reconnaissance flights, and from the park’s three fire lookout towers.

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 weather forecast calls for a chance of showers or thunderstorms starting Sunday afternoon. 

While Yellowstone’s fire danger rating remains high, there are no fire restrictions in the park. All visitor services, park entrances and roads are open. There are limited hiking trail closures in the area of the fire. A temporary flight restriction remains in effect so private aircraft won’t impact ongoing fire operations.

Smoke may be present along some park roads. The smoke plume is visible for several miles when the fire is actively burning in the afternoon and evening. The smoke plume may also be seen on the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout web cam at http://www.nps.gov/yell/tours/livecams/mtwashburn/index.htm.   

There have been five wildland fires in Yellowstone this year. Three have been declared out after burning less than an acre each. The Bison Peak fire northeast of Tower Junction is just one-tenth of an acre.

Did You Know?

Dog Hooked to Travois for Transporting Goods.

Some groups of Shoshone Indians, who adapted to a mountain existence, chose not to acquire the horse. These included the Sheep Eaters, or Tukudika, who used dogs to transport food, hides, and other provisions. The Sheep Eaters lived in many locations in Yellowstone.