Continued Progress On LeHardy Fire In Yellowstone
Contact: Sandy Hare @ ICP 307-344-7102
Contact: Al Nash @ Park HQ 307 344-2010
Red Flag Warning Issued For Saturday Afternoon
Smokejumpers, hotshots and engine crews, aided by water drops from helicopters, were able to construct a control line along the section of the fire on the west bank of the Yellowstone River.
That allowed the park to reopen the Grand Loop Road between Fishing Bridge and Mud Volcano to traffic at noon Friday. The road had been temporarily closed since the fire broke out Wednesday afternoon. Vehicles must travel through the area without stopping, and may be subject to delays of up to ten minutes to facilitate ongoing firefighting efforts.
Firefighters also utilized water drops from the helicopters to secure the southern flank of the larger portion of the fire which is east of the Yellowstone River.
Warm temperatures, low humidity and afternoon winds from the southwest continue to cause the fire to develop a large smoke plume and grow to the northeast into the backcountry.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Yellowstone National Park for Noon to 9:00 p.m. Saturday. Firefighters are preparing for another day of active fire behavior and fire growth.
While an aerial reconnaissance flight was conducted late Friday afternoon, no new acreage figure will be available until Saturday. As of Friday morning, the fire was estimated at 505 acres.
The LeHardy Fire does not pose a threat to visitors. The fire is burning away from the Grand Loop Road and the Fishing Bridge area deeper into the backcountry.
All park entrances and all seasonal visitor services are open. The section of the Yellowstone River within the fire perimeter is temporarily closed to fishing. Some backcountry trails remain temporarily closed. Updated information is available at all of the park’s Backcountry Offices or by calling 307-344-2160 during business hours.
This is the third fire in Yellowstone National Park this season. The other fires were just one-tenth of an acre in size each.