Yellowstone National Park Fire Update - August 30, 2012 - 2:00 p.m.
National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
Al Nash or Dan Hottle
August 30, 2012 - 2:00 p.m.
Summary: High winds under hot and dry Red Flag weather conditions resulted in significant smoke and fire growth activity on the Cygnet and Dewdrop fires in Yellowstone National Park Wednesday. Gusty winds with warm daytime temperatures, low humidity and dry fuels combine to create critical fire conditions and potential for significant fire growth. The Fire Danger Level in Yellowstone remains at Extreme, and fire restrictions are in effect. Firefighters and equipment from Yellowstone, along with Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado), Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee), Saguaro National Park (Arizona), Big Thicket National Preserve (Texas), Gallatin National Forest, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Park County Rural and Paradise Valley Fire Departments (Montana) are assisting on the fires burning in the park.
Cygnet Fire: This lightning-caused fire 5 miles southwest of Canyon Village is approximately 1700 acres. Firefighters continue efforts to protect a utility corridor south of the Norris-to-Canyon road in case the fire reaches the area. A section of the backcountry trails and campsites near the area have been closed. It was discovered August 10.
Dewdrop Fire: This lightning-caused fire 9 miles southeast of Canyon Village is approximately 1000 acres. Smoke will be visible from Dunraven Pass through Canyon Village and throughout Hayden Valley. It was discovered on July 29.
Range Fire: This lightning-caused fire 8 ½ miles southwest of Tower Fall is approximately 325 acres. This fire is not threatening any structures or roadways, but will likely produce a significant amount of smoke that will be visible from the road over Dunraven Pass and through the Tower Fall area. It was discovered July 26.
Other Fires and smoke: Smoke from fires both inside and outside of the park may be visible along several sections of park roadways throughout the week. Visitors are asked to slow down and use extreme caution while driving where firefighting crews are working along roadways.
Weather: Afternoon high temps similar to Wednesday will continue throughout the day today with lighter winds expected. There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the region and concerns exist for increased thunderstorm activity with lightning on Friday. These conditions can combine to create critical fire conditions and potential for significant fire growth.
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.