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Smoky Conditions in Yellowstone Caused by Fires North of Park

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Date: September 5, 2006
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012

Smoke from several large fires burning in Montana is drifting into Yellowstone National Park. The resulting haze over large portions of the park is most noticeable in the evening, overnight and early morning hours.

Continued hot, dry weather forecast through the week is expected to result in significant continued fire activity and smoke in the park from the Derby Mountain Fire, the Paradise Valley Complex and the Jungle Fire. None of these fires is close to the park boundary.

Somewhat less extreme weather forecast for Yellowstone this week is likely to cause increased activity on the Magpie and Stinky Fires.

The Magpie Fire is now estimated at 2,300 acres. It is burning in the backcountry seven miles east of Madison Junction. Ground fire with isolated torching has been reported. This fire has the potential to grow this week, which could result in a smoke column noticeable for several miles.

The Stinky Fire remains at 1,010 acres. It is burning 19 miles southeast of Tower Junction. It is relatively inactive and has been contained in the Calfee Creek drainage. Two other small fires have been contained and are being patrolled but haven’t been declared out.

There have been thirteen fires in the park this year. Nine of these were caused by lightning; four were caused by people. Firefighters aggressively work to put out all human-caused fires and any naturally occurring fires when they threaten people or the park’s developed areas.

The fire danger in the park remains high. All visitor services, park entrances and roads are open. None of the park’s fires are a threat to visitors or developed areas in the park. There are some limited trail and backcountry campsite closures due to the fires. Details on those closures are available by calling Yellowstone 's Backcountry Office at (307) 344-2160.

Fire activity in the park may be monitored by watching the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout Web Cam at http://www.nps.gov/archive/yell/tours/livecams/mtwashburn/index.htm. Updated information on fire activity in Yellowstone National Park is posted to the Wildland Fire section of the park web site at http://www.nps.gov/yell/technical/fire/index.htm and the InciWeb Incident Information System web site at http://inciweb.org.

-www.nps.gov/yell -

Did You Know?

Fire in Yellowstone Pineland in 1988

The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.