Arnica Fire Update - Monday Noon
Contact: Brian Suderman, 307-344-2012
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2012
National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
Probable Start Date: September 13, 2009
Reported: September 23, 2009 Cause: Lightning
IMPACTS TO VISITORS AND AREA RESIDENTS: The road is currently closed from south of the Lake developed area to the West Thumb Junction due to fire actively burning along 1.5 miles of the road, and an undetermined number of hazardous snags falling across the road(SEE MAP). Access is available from the north and east to the Lake developed area (Lake Hotel and Lake Lodge); and to the Old Faithful area from the south and west.
Snag removal will take place when conditions are safe for firefighters. The road will remain closed throughout today and tonight. An assessment of when the road might reopen will be made when it is safe to do so.
As a reminder, the road between Norris and Madison is also closed due to road construction (SEE ABOVE MAP). Visitors are encouraged to stop at park visitor centers and area chambers of commerce for assistance with trip planning in and around the park.
The Elephant Back and Natural Bridge Trails have been closed due to fire activity in these areas. Check at park visitor centers or backcountry offices for the current status of other hiking trails and backcountry campsites in the area.
No facilities have closed at this time due to fire activity with the exception of the launching of private water craft from the Bridge Bay Marina. Water craft can still be launched from Grant Village.
LOCATION: West and southwest of Bridge Bay and Lake Village, and along the road near Arnica Creek.
OVERVIEW: The lightning-caused fire is burning in a flat area of mature lodgepole pine forest and isestimated at 9,300 acres.
RECENT ACTIVITY AND EXPECTATIONS: The fire is expected to burn actively under southwesterly winds, especially during the peak afternoon burning period when temperatures are expected to reach into the 60s.
CURRENT WEATHER CONDITIONS: 52°F; winds from the south southeast at 1 mph; 35% relative humidity.
TODAY’S FORECAST: Highs in the low 60s, southwest winds 12 mph, higher gusts this afternoon. 10 - 15% relative humidity.
FIRE AND ROAD UPDATES: Visitors can use the following sources to access up-to-date 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.
MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES: Currently, 230 personnel have been assigned to the fire. Helicopters will be used to drop water west of Bridge Bay to check the spread of fire toward the Bridge Bay development. Firefighters have implemented structure protection in the Lake area utilizing irrigation systems and fire engines.
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, allow natural processes to occur, and effectively use available firefighting resources.
Did You Know?
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.