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Butte Fire Update - 10 September

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Date: September 10, 2009
Contact: Al Nash or Stacy Vallie, 307 344-2015

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
   
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2009   09-078
(307) 344-2015

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE
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Last Update---Thursday, September 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Fire personnel will continue to monitor the fire and updates will be sent only if conditions change drastically. 
 
Fire Location: East of the Lamar Ranger Station –Buffalo Ranch and north of the Northeast Entrance Road on Druid Peak, 16 miles southwest of Cooke City, Montana

Estimated Size: 200 acres                                   
Started: August 30, 2009                                   
Cause: Lightning

Overview: Lightning from a thunderstorm which moved across the northern portion of Yellowstone National Park on Sunday evening, August 30, starting five small fires. The Butte Fire, which started in Whitebark pine beneath the summit of Druid Peak north of Soda Butte, remained small and quiet for several days. Changing weather conditions on Wednesday, September 2, resulted in increased fire activity and fire growth. There have been several reported fires in Yellowstone National Park this summer. So far, all except the Butte Fire have been less than a half acre in size.

Last 24 hours and today’s expectation: Wednesday the fire continued to occasionally torch pockets of trees and brush putting up occasional smoke and at times flames where visible from the Northeast Entrance Road. As it continues to move around Druid Mountain and into the Trout Lake drainage, it will continue to be visible from the road and Pebble Creek Campground during warm fall days and evenings. The fire is expected to continue this behavior until fall weather and snow puts it out. The fire still remains above and well away from the Trout Lake trail and Northeast Entrance road. 

Management Strategy: Most fires occurring in the Greater Yellowstone Area are caused by lightning. Yellowstone National Park is a fire adapted ecosystem where fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of the area’s wildlife and vegetation. Firefighters will continue to monitor the Butte Fire by air, from the ground, and from the Mt. Washburn Fire Lookout. The Butte Fire is being managed in order to protect people and property, enhance the area’s natural resources, and effectively use available firefighting resources.  

Impacts to visitors and area residents: Public and firefighter safety is always the park’s first concern and priority. The Butte Fire poses no threat to visitors or area residents. Smoke and flames may be visible at times from along the Northeast Entrance road. As temperatures and humidity fluctuate, there is a possibility of winds carrying smoke northeast into the Pebble Creek Campground, and into the communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City. Smoke may also settle overnight in river and creek drainages and along the valley floor.

Park Status: All park entrances and seasonal visitor services are open.  There are no roads, trails, or campgrounds closed in connection with the Butte Fire. 

Weather Forecast: The fire danger in Yellowstone National Park remains “Moderate”. The National Weather Service forecast calls for mostly sunny skies, with high temperatures near 70 F and northwest wind around 9 mph today. Tonight: Mostly clear skies with lows around 30 degrees F and northwest wind between around 9 mph. The weekend is expected to bring continued sunny to mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the high 60’s F with night time low’s continuing to drop to the high 20’s and low 30’s F.

Additional Fire Information: Photos and maps (when available) are posted to the web at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1881. Updates are also available by calling the park’s 24-hour fire information line at 307-344-2580. At times the fire is also visible from the Mt. Washburn Fire Lookout Web Cam at http://www.nps.gov/archive/yell/tours/livecams/mtwashburn/index.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.