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    Yellowstone

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Arnica Fire Update - Sept. 29 - 11 AM

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Date: September 29, 2009
Contact: Tom Kempton, 307-344-2010
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2012

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 29, 2009     09-100    
Tom Kempton or Stacy Vallie
307 344-2010 or 307 344-2012

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Yellowstone National Park Fire Update - Tuesday 9/29/09 11:00 am
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ARNICA FIRE
Probable Start Date: September 13, 2009
Reported:  September 23, 2009          Cause:  Lightning                              
Estimated Size: 9,300 acres                             

IMPACTS TO VISITORS AND AREA RESIDENTS: The road between the junctions at Lake Village and West Thumb remains closed indefinitely due to fire actively burning along both sides of 1.8 miles of the roadway. Numerous burned trees (snags) are falling across the road, adding to the hazardous conditions.  Snag removal has begun and will continue only when conditions are safe for firefighters.

No facilities have closed at this time due to fire activity. The Lake Village area is still accessible from the North, Northeast, and East Entrances, and the Lake Hotel and Lake Lodge are open for business. The Old Faithful area is accessible from the South and West Entrances.

All entrances are open.  As a reminder, the road between Norris and Madison is also closed due to road construction (SEE 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.

Smoky conditions will affect air quality in certain areas today.  Individuals with weakened immune systems and those with heart and lung conditions could be most affected.

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.

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 an area of mature lodge pole pine forest and is still estimated at 9,300 acres, as there was limited growth yesterday. 

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: winds from the south southwest at 4 mph, 64˚F, 26%relative humidity.

TODAY’S FORECAST:  59-62˚F; relative humidity 19-22%. South to southwest winds will increase today as a strong low pressure system approaches.  Winds will continue overnight and diminish around daybreak. Tonight scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms in the evening; snow showers and isolated thunderstorms after midnight.  Lows in the upper 20s.  Southwest winds around 11 mph.

EXTENDED FORECAST:  Wednesday much colder with numerous snow showers and isolated thunderstorms moving in around daybreak; snow levels are expected to fall to the valley floors by midday.  Lows around 15˚F; highs in the mid 30s; winds  generally less than 10 mph.

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. Yesterday, helicopters dropped water on spot fires in the Bridge Bay marina area and will continue today to drop water west of Bridge Bay to check the spread of fire toward the Bridge Bay development.  Firefighters have implemented protection for housing, lodges and historic buildings utilizing sprinkler systems, hose lines 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.

- www.nps.gov/yell-

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