Yellowstone National Park Fire Update for August 24, 2012 – 12:30 p.m.
National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
Al Nash or Dan Hottle
August 24, 2012 - 12:30 p.m.
Summary: Windy conditions Thursday afternoon resulted in an increase in activity and some growth on two of the small fires burning in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park. Fire managers expect increased fire activity and fire growth on Friday and Saturday. The Fire Danger Level in Yellowstone is Extreme. Fire restrictions remain in effect.
Weather: The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Yellowstone National Park through 9:00 p.m. Saturday night as gusty winds from a passing cold front combine with warm daytime temperatures, low humidity, and dry fuels to create critical fire conditions and potential for significant fire growth.
Cygnet Fire: This fire, located about 5 miles southeast of Norris Junction, experienced some growth and produced an impressive smoke column late Thursday. It is now estimated at 400 acres. Firefighters continue efforts to protect a utility corridor south of the road between Norris and Canyon in case the fire reaches the area. A section of the backcountry south of the road including the Cygnet Lakes Trail is temporarily closed. Smoke from the fire may be visible along sections of park roadways. This lightning caused fire was discovered on August 10.
Range Fire: This lightning caused fire, located in the backcountry about 8 ½ miles southwest of Tower Fall, was discovered on July 26. After being dormant for several days, Thursday afternoon's winds prompted this fire to become active and grow. It is estimated at 100 acres. Firefighters continue to monitor this fire's potential growth and impacts.
Dewdrop Fire: The Dewdrop Fire was not very active Thursday. It remains estimated at 63 acres, but could experience some growth over the coming days in light of forecast weather conditions. As a precaution, an area around the fire including some backcountry campsites and trail segments are temporarily closed. This lightning caused fire, burning in the backcountry nine miles southeast of Canyon, was discovered on July 27.
Other Fires and Smoke: Firefighters continue to monitor the Agate, Camera and Dewdrop 2 fires. All have shown little recent activity and are all less than an acre. While each of the park's fires may produce smoke when actively burning, most of the smoke and haze present in the region is due to fires burning in Idaho and California.
Fire Restrictions: Any fire which can produce an ash is prohibited in the backcountry. Smoking is prohibited along all trails and anywhere in the backcountry. Smoking is allowed in vehicles and along roads, near buildings, and in developed campgrounds or picnic areas if you are standing in an area at least three feet in diameter where nothing on the ground will burn. Campfires are allowed only in established fire grates or fire rings in picnic areas, campgrounds and housing areas. Charcoal grills are okay in these same areas as well. You can use portable stoves and lanterns which use propane, white gas, kerosene, or jellied petroleum for fuel anywhere in the park.
Impacts to visitors and area residents: All park entrances, roads, campgrounds, lodging, stores, and other visitor services are open. Backcountry closure details are available at any park Visitor Center or Backcountry Office. Backcountry information can also be obtained by calling 307-344-2160.
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Did You Know?
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.