Columbine Fire Threat Causes Temporary East Entrance Closure
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2010
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2012
The East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park has been temporarily closed again due to increased late afternoon fire activity on the Columbine Fire.
The fire has advanced toward a section of the East Entrance road about six miles west of the East Entrance Station.
Park rangers closed the road at the East Entrance and at the Pelican Creek barricade near Fishing Bridge at 7 o’clock this evening.
The lightning-caused fire started just before dark last Thursday evening, southwest of Sylvan Pass and the park’s East Entrance road. Earlier today it was estimated at 10.000 acres.
Despite this temporary closure, all visitor services inside the park and along US Highway 14-16-20 between Cody and the East Entrance remain open and fully operational. All other park entrances and roads remain open.
Alternate access between Cody and Yellowstone is possible through the park’s 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.
The closure will be reevaluated Wednesday morning. The park intends to reopen the road to traffic as soon as access can be safely resumed.
This is the second time the East Entrance road has been temporarily closed due to the threat posed by the Columbine Fire, and the third time the road has been temporarily closed this summer. A small mudslide near Sylvan Pass led to an overnight closure in late July. The road had been temporarily closed due to the fire from late Sunday afternoon until 8 o’clock t his morning.
Updates on the Columbine Fire are 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.
Did You Know?
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.