Druid Complex Fire Update August 26, 2013 @ 9:00 a.m.
National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
Al Nash or Dan Hottle
Fire Information Line (307) 242-7422
Overview: Fire activity within the Druid Complex was minimal on Sunday and similar fire behavior is expected to continue Monday. Monday’s forecast includes a high of 70 degrees with light winds. The fires continue to smolder and slowly creep in large timber with flames occasionally torching a tree or small group of trees. However, if the weather turns hotter and drier there is a chance fire activity could increase. Firefighters are continuing efforts to scout and create contingency firelines to protect valuable resources and structures. The total fire acreage for the complex remains at 11,658 acres.
Fires have a place in the ecosystem at Yellowstone. Many plants are actually adapted to thrive with fire. For example, heat from fires helps melt the resin that seals the serotinous cones of lodgepole pines, allowing their seeds to disperse and grow in the forest.
Alum Fire: The Alum Fire (pronounced AL-umm, not ah-LUM) is located in the heart of the park, just west of the section of the Grand Loop Road between Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge. Just a few hundred yards west of the road, the fire continues to back slowly downslope through a forested area, thick with large and downed timber.
Mud Volcano, a popular destination in the park, reopened on Sunday afternoon. LeHardy Rapids, and several picnic areas and pullouts, as well as some backcountry trails in the area remain closed. Some trails visitors can enjoy in the area include Pelican Creek Nature Trail, Natural Bridge, Lake Village to Bridge Bay Trail, and the Lake Lodge Meadows Trail.
The feller bunchers (mechanized tree removal equipment) working west of the Lake government housing area, have finished creating defensible space near those structures and under the powerline. Skidders are loading and hauling the vegetation that was removed to a stacking area south of Bridge Bay. Visitors should be aware of increased truck traffic on the section of Grand Loop Road south of the housing area.
Crews will continue building a contingency line northwest of Bridge Bay on Monday. This line, created in preparation for the potential spread of the fire, links several meadows and will end at an area burned by the Arnica Fire in 2009. Work under the powerline was completed and power has been restored to the Bridge Bay area.
Crews have also completed protection work around power poles between Mud Volcano and Fishing Bridge where the fire is closest to the road.
Druid Fire: The Druid Fire is located high above the Northeast Entrance road on the north side of Druid Peak. This fire remained quiet on Sunday with little activity. A remote camera has been successfully placed in the fire area to monitor its activity. A link to photos, taken every 30 minutes by the camera, will be available soon on druidcomplex.blogspot.com.
A wildland fire module continues to scout the area to identify potential locations for indirect firelines should the fire advance east towards the Grand Loop Road and Pebble Creek Campground. Structure protection assessments are being conducted at the Lamar Ranger Station. Crews are also working on a structure protection plan for the Yellowstone Institute.
The Alder, Snake and Passage fires are inactive.
Impacts to visitors and area residents: All roads leading into and through the park and all visitor services including campgrounds, lodging, stores and visitor services in the park are open. Impacts from smoke have been minimal and will continue to be as long as the weather is cool. All visitors are encouraged to check for updates often as road closures may be needed based on daily fire activity. Updated park road information is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.
Additional information can be found on the web at:
Did You Know?
Yellowstone contains approximately one-half of the world’s hydrothermal features. There are over 10,000 hydrothermal features, including over 300 geysers, in the park.