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Fire Keeps Yellowstone's East Entrance Closed Temporarily

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Date: August 13, 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
August 13, 2007   10:30 AM     07-65
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2010 or 344-2012

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE

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Fire Keeps Yellowstone’s East Entrance Closed Temporarily

Due to very active fire behavior and continued threat from the Columbine Fire, the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park remains under temporary closure. The closure will be reevaluated late this evening or early Tuesday morning. The park intends to reopen the road to traffic as soon as access can be safely resumed.

Alternate access between Cody and Yellowstone is possible via the Northeast Entrance and the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway. Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.

There will be a public meeting this evening to update interested community members on the status of the Columbine Fire and the temporary closure of the East Entrance road. It will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Wapiti School in Wapiti, Wyoming.

With the exception of the road between the East Entrance and Fishing Bridge, all other park entrances, roads, and visitor facilities including hotels, restaurants, visitor centers, etc., are open and fully operational. The Columbine Fire poses no threat to park visitors.

This lightning-caused fire started just before dark Thursday evening. Despite the efforts of smokejumpers, an aerial retardant tanker, and helicopter bucket drops first thing Friday morning; the Columbine Fire escaped initial attack.

Weather forecasts are calling for another hot, dry, windy day, which could cause continued significant fire activity again today. Large smoke columns will be visible from long distances.

Mark Grant’s Northern Rockies Type 2 Incident Management Team took over management of the Columbine Fire on Sunday. They have established an Incident Command Post at Fishing Bridge.

Information officers from this team are working to provide current fire information to park visitors, area residents, and park employees. When updates on the Columbine Fire are available, they’re being posted to the web at http://inciweb.org/incident/920/. Recorded information on the Columbine Fire is also available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2580.

Anyone planning to hike or camp in the backcountry should contact the Yellowstone backcountry office during business hours at 307-344-2160 for possible trail and campsite closures.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

Producers/Editors Note: Information Officers from Grant’s Type 2 Incident Management Team are available by phone at 307-242-7649.

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.