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Owl Fire Burnout Set for Today

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Date: July 23, 2007
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2010
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2012

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
   
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2007    07-44    
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2010 or 344-2012

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE
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Owl Fire Burnout Set For Today

Smokejumpers from West Yellowstone will join with firefighters from Yellowstone National Park and the Gallatin National Forest today as they take advantage of terrain to help contain the Owl Fire.

The Owl Fire is burning in the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park. It is burning east of U.S. Highway 191 between Specimen Creek and the Montana/Wyoming state line.

Starting northeast of the fire where Specimen Creek and the 1988 Fan Fire meet; firefighters will work their way west to remove unburned fuel from in front of the head of the fire. This is designed to halt the northward advance of the fire and provide firefighters a place to build containment line around the fire. Firefighters will conduct the burnout operation using drip torches along Specimen Creek and by dropping aerial ignition devices dropped from a helicopter farther up the hillside.

The lightning-caused fire was discovered Friday afternoon. It’s burning in lodgepole pine and spruce-fir forest in the backcountry away from roads and developed areas. The fire is estimated at 217 acres. The Owl Fire has the potential to produce a smoke column visible from several miles away. Smoke haze in the area is also due to the great number of other fires burning throughout the west.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered in to manage the Owl Fire for Yellowstone National Park. The team will take over the Owl Fire in the next couple of days, allowing Yellowstone National Park staff to focus on dealing with any new fire starts in the park.

One new fire was discovered in Yellowstone National Park late last evening by the Mount Sheridan fire lookout. The Beaver Dam fire is in the backcountry near the southeast arm of Yellowstone Lake. A reconnaissance flight is slated for later this morning to evaluate the fire. This will be the twelfth fire in the park this year.

Yellowstone National Park will hold a public meeting Monday evening to update interested community members on the status of the Owl Fire. It will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Center in Gardiner, Montana. 

While all visitor services, park entrances, and roads are open; some trails and backcountry campsites in the area near the fire are temporarily closed. Hikers, anglers, backpackers, and stock users planning to go into the northwest corner of the park are encouraged to call the Backcountry Office at (307) 344-2160 for more information.

The fire danger in the park is "Very High". Fire restrictions have been in effect since July 3. The forecast calls for continued hot, dry, weather with the chance of isolated afternoon showers or thunderstorms.

Recorded information on the Owl Fire is available 24-hours a day by calling (307)344-2580, or on the web at inciweb.org/incident/855/ and www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.   

- 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.