September 2, 2013
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 2, 2013 13-071K
Al Nash or Dan Hottle
DRUID COMPLEX FIRE UPDATE
Fire Information Line (307)242-7422
Recorded Fire Update (307)344-2580
Monday, September 2, 2013 – 9:00 a.m.
Of six lightning-caused fires in Yellowstone Park, only one showed widespread activity in Sunday’s dry
weather. Sunday afternoon, the 7097 acre Alum Fire responded to low relative humidity and sunny
skies by producing intermittent smoke columns visible from Hayden Valley overlooks and the Mud
Volcano area. A few groups of live trees flared for about a minute each as they torched, sending quick
pillars of dark smoke skyward amid whiter smoke from smoldering dead logs and roots on the hillside.
Many holiday visitors shared surprise that they got to view a real Yellowstone wildfire. From Mud
Volcano, the smoke often resembled steam from thermal features.
Despite its show of strength, the Alum Fire lost energy as the sun sank. Fire managers had expected
that the fire might gain enough momentum to reach the Grand Loop Road between Fishing Bridge
Junction and the Mud Volcano, and thus might force a tourist-annoying road closure. However, the fire
grew only a few acres, and Labor Day park visitors could complete their routes as they planned.
Monday, clouds herald a new weather pattern moving into the Yellowstone region. The new system will
bring the region increasing humidity and wind Monday, and the potential for several days of short
showers or thunderstorms.
Many visitors still ask why firefighters are not extinguishing the smokes they see. Yellowstone is a
living laboratory for natural processes, where firefighters try to allow fire to play the role that it did
before the park was created in 1872. Crews suppress all human-caused fires such as from cars or
powerlines, but respect the growth of most lightning-caused fires, except when public safety or
developed areas are at risk. In the lodgepole pine forest that covers much of the park, mature trees
reseed the landscape when they burn.
Other fires in the Druid Complex were less active on Sunday. Those fires include the Druid, Alder,
Snake, Passage, and Caldron Fires. None shows more than an occasional puff of smoke. Any of
these fires may continue to smolder through damp weather and reignite when dry, windy days return.
Additional information can be found on the web at:
www.druidcomplex.blogspot.com - for updates as they become available
Facebook at YellowstoneNPS
Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellowstonenps/sets/72157635186710997/
Yellowstone National Park Website http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm
Web Cams at http://www.nps.gov/yell/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm