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Fire Update - Sept. 23

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Date: September 23, 2009
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015
Contact: 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
September 23, 2009    09-090   
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015


Yellowstone National Park Fire Update - Wed. 9/23/09

: September 22, 2009 
Cause: Unknown  
Estimated Size: 1/2 acre                             
Location: Three and a half miles east of Pebble Creek Campground and nine miles southwest of Cooke City, MT.
Overview: The Chaw Pass Fire was discovered September 22, on the north end of The Thunderer, high on a ridge above the Cache Creek drainage. It is burning in a mature, mixed forest of lodgepole pine, spruce, and fir. 
Recent activity and expectations: The fire has the potential to grow downhill and to the northeast in the Cache Creek drainage.  Impacts to visitors and area residents: While the fire may be visible at times from the Northeast Entrance Road, it is well away from the road, and the communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City. Check at park visitor centers or backcountry offices for the current status of the hiking trail from The Thunderer trailhead to the junction with the Cache Creek Trail, and continuing northeast to Republic Pass.

Started: September 13, 2009 
Cause: Lightning  
Estimated Size: 1 acre                             
Location: Three miles west-northwest of Mammoth Hot Springs, WY, near the MY/WY state line.
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 down slope 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 the Yellowstone River and 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 at park visitor centers or backcountry offices for the current status of the Sepulcher Mountain Trail.

Started: August 30, 2009 
Cause: Lightning  
Estimated Size: 160 acres                           
Location: North of Soda Butte and the Northeast Entrance Road on Druid Peak, 16 miles SW of Cooke City, MT.
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: The fire has not grown for several days. There are three locations within the fire perimeter that 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. 

Management Strategy for the Chaw Pass, Rainbow, and Butte Fires
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 fires from the ground and from the air. These three fires are being managed in order to protect people and property, enhance the area’s natural resources, and effectively use available firefighting resources. The National Weather Service forecast for the next several days calls for clear skies, no rain or snow, and light winds with highs in the 60s and lows in the 30s. These weather conditions could prompt some increased fire activity and fire growth late in the afternoon on into the early evening.

Fire Season To Date
There have been 19 fires in Yellowstone this season. The only fires to grow a half acre or larger in size this year are the Chaw Pass, Rainbow, and Butte fires. Fire 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.
- www.nps.gov/yell -

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.