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Arnica Fire Update - Sept. 27, 11:30 a.m.

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Date: September 27, 2009
Contact: Brian Suderman, (307) 344-2012
Contact: Stacy Vallie, (307) 344-2012

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 27, 2009    09-096    
Brian Suderman or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2012

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE
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ARNICA FIRE

Probable Start Date: September 13, 2009
Reported: September 23, 2009            Cause: Lightning Estimated Size: 8300 acres  

LOCATION: Two miles northwest of Bridge Bay with small spot fires within one mile of Bridge Bay.

OVERVIEW: The lightning-caused fire is burning in a flat area of mature lodgepole pine forest and is estimated at 8300 acres.

RECENT ACTIVITY AND EXPECTATIONS: The fire is expected to burn actively under southwesterly winds, especially during the peak afternoon burning period when temperatures are expected to reach into the 60s.

IMPACTS TO VISITORS AND AREA RESIDENTS: For safety reasons it may be necessary to temporarily close the road between the Junction at Fishing Bridge and West Thumb due to the fire’s proximity to the road. 

Smoky conditions will affect air quality today and are likely to continue tomorrow. 

Individuals with weakened immune systems and those with heart and lung conditions could be most affected.

Smoke and flames can be seen from the Grand Loop Road. Drivers are advised to use caution and drive slowly as smoke could reduce visibility.

The Elephant Back and Natural Bridge Trails have been closed due to fire activity in these areas. Check at park visitor centers or backcountry offices for the current status of other hiking trails and backcountry campsites in the area.

No facilities have closed at this time due to fire activity with the exception of the launching of private water craft from the Bridge Bay Marina. Water craft can still be launched from Grant Village.

CURRENT WEATHER CONDITIONS: 55˚F; winds from the west northwest at 11 mph; 21% relative humidity.

TODAY’S FORECAST: Highs in the low 60s, southwest winds 10-12 mph by noon; 15-20 mph this afternoon with gusts to 25 mph; 14-16% relative humidity.

FIRE AND ROAD UPDATES: Visitors can use the following sources to access up-to-date information: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1901/; http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/newsreleases.htm, or by calling the 24-hour road information line at 307-344-2117, or the fire information line at 307-344-2580.

MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES: Currently, 120 personnel have been assigned to the fire.

Helicopters will be used to drop water in order to minimize further impacts to road and power line corridors. Firefighters have implemented structure protection in the Lake area utilizing irrigation systems and fire engines.

Yellowstone National Park is a fire-adapted ecosystem. Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of the area’s wildlife and vegetation. Most fires occurring in the Greater Yellowstone Area are caused by lightning. Firefighters continue to monitor the Arnica Fire by air, from the ground, and from the Mt. Washburn Fire Lookout. The fire is being managed in order to protect people and property, allow natural processes to occur, and effectively use available firefighting resources.  

                        - www.nps.gov/yell -

Did You Know?

Seventh Cavalry Ensignia Pin.

Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918. Fort Yellowstone was established at Mammoth Hot Springs for that purpose.