Yellowstone National Park Fire Update for August 31, 2012 - 10:00 a.m.
National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
Al Nash or Dan Hottle
August 31, 2012 - 10:00 a.m.
Summary: High winds under hot and dry weather conditions over the past two days increased the fire and smoke activity of both the Dewdrop and Cygnet fires in Yellowstone National Park. Hazardous smoke conditions forced a temporary road closure from Canyon Village to Norris Junction Thursday evening. Although forecasts call for increased humidity and a strong chance for fire-dampening thunderstorms and rain showers today and through the weekend, the possibility for critical fire conditions still exists. The Fire Danger Level in Yellowstone remains at Extreme, and fire restrictions are in effect. Continued road closures due to the Cygnet Fire are also a possibility.
Cygnet Fire: This lightning-caused fire 5 miles southwest of Canyon Village is just over 1,800 acres. Firefighters are working to protect a utility corridor south of the Norris-to-Canyon road, where the fire reached Thursday afternoon. 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 nearly 1,100 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 nearly 400 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, especially between Norris and Canyon Village.
Weather: Monsoonal moisture moving into the area is forecast to fuel isolated wet or dry thunderstorms with gusty winds and a chance of lightning. Significant widespread rain is not expected, but lighter winds, slightly cooler high temps, and higher afternoon humidities may slow fire activity. Saturday is forecast to be much like today, with a cold front heading our way later in the weekend.
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 roads leading to the park and 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?
The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.