Antelope Fire Update-Tues. Sept. 21; 11AM
Contact: Traci Weaver, 307-690-1128 cell
Contact: Marianne Baumberger, 406-579-3732 cell
National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
September 21, 2010 – 11:00 a.m.
Overview: The Antelope Fire was discovered Tuesday afternoon, September 14, by the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout. A lightning strike started the fire in an area of sage and grass on the northeast slope of Mount Washburn, between Antelope Creek and the Yellowstone River. Winds have pushed the fire upslope to the north and east into lodgepole pine in an area burned by the North Fork Fire in 1988.
Monday’s Activities: Scattered cloud cover on Monday brought higher relative humidity and cooler temperatures. Fire personnel saw moderate fire behavior with isolated burning in pockets of heavy fuel and little activity in the grass. This enabled firefighters to make good progress towards securing the north side of the fire perimeter. The road between the Tower Fall store and Chittenden Road (Mt. Washburn Lookout road) remained closed due to the fire’s close proximity to the road and safety of the firefighters working in the area. Three engine crews monitored along the Grand Loop Road overnight.
Tuesday’s Weather Forecast: Today is expected to be slightly warmer and drier with maximum temperatures in the low 60’s. Winds are predicted to be out of the southwest at 11-15 mph with gusts to 25 mph.
Tuesday’s Strategies: Firefighters on the ground will continue to reinforce the new control line on the northwest flank of the fire, supported by helicopters and air tankers. Crews will strive to keep the fire from moving west across Antelope Creek. Structural firefighters and engines will remain at the Tower Fall area as a precautionary measure. The southern end of the fire will continue to be monitored to allow it to play its natural role in the ecosystem. One Type 1 helicopters, two Type 2 helicopters, nine fire engines, several West Yellowstone Smokejumpers, firefighters from Yellowstone National Park, Gallatin National Forest and one 20-person firefighting hand crew from Missouri are assigned to the fire.
Park Impacts: Grand Loop Road between Chittenden Road (Mt. Washburn Lookout road) and Tower Fall store will remain closed to visitors until further notice. No park entrances are closed. No lodging, campgrounds, or other visitor facilities are closed.
Yellowstone National Park is a fire adapted ecosystem. Like the Antelope Fire, most fires occurring in Yellowstone are caused by lightning. Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of the area’s wildlife habitat and vegetation. The Antelope Fire is being managed both to protect people and property and to enhance the area’s natural resources by safely and effectively using available firefighting resources. The Antelope Fire is the largest of the 11 fires that have occurred in Yellowstone this year.
Updated Information: Updated road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117. When actively burning, smoke from the fire is visible along a large section of the Northeast Entrance road, and from Tower Junction to Dunraven Pass. It can also be viewed on the Mt. Washburn Fire Lookout Web Cam at http://www.nps.gov/yell/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm. Fire updates are available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2580, or on the web at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2128/.
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.