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Yellowstone Fire Update: September 4, 2011

Map of Yellowstone National Park showing fires actively burning in and near the park

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News Release Date: September 4, 2011
Contact: Al Nash or Dan Hottle, 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 4, 2011   11-088d        
Al Nash or Dan Hottle (307) 344-2015


Heart Complex: September 4, 2011 - 10:30 a.m.

Seven wildland fires continue to burn in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park. The fires are being managed as the Heart Complex.

The largest and most active of these seven fires is the Point Fire, burning near the eastern shore of Yellowstone Lake. It has seen two back-to-back days of significant growth, and is now estimated at 75 acres.

A section of the Thorofare Trail south of the Nine Mile Trailhead has been temporarily closed. Firefighters are working to protect a patrol cabin near the heel of the fire. When actively burning, it may be visible from the road and from Fire Lookout web cam on Mount Washburn http://www.nps.gov/yell/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm.

The Gibbon Fire, which is burning three miles southeast of Madison Junction, has seen little new fire activity and remains estimated at 15-18 acres. 

In the northwest corner of the park, the Specimen Fire was suppressed due to its proximity to the Gallatin National Forest. This lightning caused fire was controlled at one-tenth of an acre.

Five other fires, the Ouzel, Huckleberry, Heart, Pitchstone, and Sour Fires, are all one acre or less in size, and have seen little recent fire activity.

All seven fires in the Heart Complex are being managed to allow natural processes to occur to enhance the area's natural resources, to protect people and property, and to effectively use available firefighting resources. Fire mangers have yet to determine the cause of the Pitchstone fire; all the other fires in the Heart Complex were started by lightning.

Other than limited temporary closures of some backcountry campsites and hiking trails, all park entrances, roads and services are open. None of these fires pose a threat to park visitors. 

The fire danger rating in Yellowstone is currently "High." Visitors are encouraged to be careful with campfires, grills, camp stoves and smoking materials. There have been 18 fires reported in Yellowstone this year. 

The latest information on backcountry access is available at park Visitor Centers or Backcountry Offices.

When actively burning, smoke from any of these fires may be visible from park roadways. Updated information is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2580, or on the web at http://www.inciweb.org/unit/5382/.

- 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.