ARNICA FIRE UPDATE
Contact: Brian Suderman, (307) 344-2015
Contact: Stacy Vallie, (307) 344-2012
Yellowstone National Park
Probable Start Date: September 13, 2009
LOCATION: Five miles west of the Bridge Bay Campground and the northwest shore of Yellowstone Lake.
OVERVIEW: The lightning-caused fire is burning in a flat area of mature lodgepole pine forest. As of late Friday afternoon, it was estimated at 1200 acres in size and growth is expected for the next 48 hours.
RECENT ACTIVITY AND EXPECTATIONS: The fire has pushed to the south and crossed into the power line corridor. Power has been switched to generators for the Grant Village area.
The road between Bridge Bay and West Thumb was closed Friday afternoon for safety reasons as the fire approached within ¼ miles of the road. It was reopened to traffic at approximately 6:45 p.m. Friday evening. The public is cautioned that road closures may be necessary starting Saturday morning in anticipation of the active burn period during which time the fire could reach the road.
Visitors can use the following sources to access up-to-date road information: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1901/; http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/newsreleases.htm, or by calling the 24-hour road information line at 307-344-2117, or the fire information line at 307-344-2580.
The fire is expected to grow in the next 48 hours, especially during the peak afternoon burning period. Winds on Saturday are expected to shift to a more westerly direction by mid-day.
IMPACTS TO VISITORS AND AREA RESIDENTS: In addition to possible road closures, smoke and flames will be visible from the Grand Loop Road. Check at park visitor centers or backcountry offices for the current status of hiking trails and backcountry campsites in the area. No facilities have closed at this time due to fire activity.
MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES: Tactics for the next 24 hours include using aviation assets (Type 1 and Type 2 helicopters) to drop water on aspects of the fire in order to minimize further impacts to road and power line corridors. In anticipation of wind shift back to typical prevailing directions (SSW), firefighters will be implementing additional structure protection in the Bridge Bay area utilizing irrigation systems to protect structures.
Yellowstone National Park is a fire-adapted ecosystem. Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of the area’s wildlife and vegetation. Most fires occurring in the Greater Yellowstone Area are caused by lightning. Firefighters continue to monitor the Arnica Fire by air, from the ground, and from the Mt. Washburn Fire Lookout. The fire is being managed in order to protect people and property, enhance the area’s natural resources, and effectively use available firefighting resources.
- www.nps.gov/yell -
Did You Know?
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.