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Fire Update - Friday 9/18/09

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Date: September 18, 2009
Contact: Al Nash / 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 15, 2009 09-089

Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015

Yellowstone National Park Fire Update – Friday 9/18/09

 

RAM FIRE

The fire was reported Thursday afternoon, September 17 about 8 miles east of Gardiner, Montana, and northwest of Crevice Lake along the Yellowstone River. Due to its location, smokejumpers from West Yellowstone were called in to suppress the fire. The fire was controlled early Friday afternoon at 0.25 acres. Its cause remains under investigation.

BUTTE FIRE

Location: East of the Buffalo Ranch and north of the Northeast Entrance Road on Druid Peak, 16 miles southwest of Cooke City, Montana

Started: August 30, 2009

Cause: Lightning

Estimated Size: 160 acres

Size: 160 acres



Overview: The Butte Fire started in Whitebark pine beneath the summit of Druid Peak north of Soda Butte. After remaining quiet for several days, changing weather conditions on September 2 promoted increased fire activity and fire growth.

Recent activity and expectations: There are three locations within the fire perimeter which can produce small flames and smoke on warmer, windy days. This activity may be visible from the road and the Pebble Creek Campground. The fire is expected to continue this behavior until fall weather and snow puts it out.

Impacts to visitors and area residents: The fire still remains above and well away from the Trout Lake Trail and Northeast Entrance road. There are no roads, trails, or campgrounds closed in connection with the Butte Fire.

RAINBOW FIRE

Location: Three miles west-northwest of Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, inside the park’s northern boundary, near the MY/WY state line

Started: September 13, 2009

Cause: Lightning

Estimated Size: 0.75 acres

Overview: The Rainbow Fire is on the north facing slope of Sepulcher Mountain, uphill from Rainbow Lake, and below the Sepulcher Mountain Trail.



Recent activity and expectations: The fire has grown slightly along the ground since its discovery. Smoke or flames from individually burning trees may be visible at times from the park’s North Entrance Road, in the community of Gardiner, and from U.S. Highway 89 north of the park. Slow fire growth can be expected on into the fall.

Impacts to visitors and area residents: The fire is well away from Mammoth Hot Springs, Gardiner, and all roads and visitor services. Check park visitor centers or backcountry offices for the current status of the Sepulcher Mountain Trail.

Butte and Rainbow Fire Management Strategy: Most fires occurring in the Greater Yellowstone Area are caused by lightning. Yellowstone National Park is a fire adapted ecosystem. Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of the area’s wildlife and vegetation.

Firefighters are monitoring the Butte and Rainbow Fires from the ground and from the air. The fires are being managed in order to protect people and property, enhance the area’s natural resources, and effectively use available firefighting resources.



Fire Season To Date: There have been 18 fires in Yellowstone this season. The only fires to grow larger than a half acre in size are the Butte and Rainbow fires.

Additional Fire Information: Updates will be issued as conditions warrant. They will be posted to the web at http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/newsreleases.htm, and will be recorded on the park’s 24-hour fire information line at 307-344-2580.

Did You Know?

Seventh Cavalry Ensignia Pin.

Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918. Fort Yellowstone was established at Mammoth Hot Springs for that purpose.