Fire Update, 9-10-2016

September 10, 2016 Posted by: Yellowstone Fire Information

Today's Key Points

  • Breezy, warm weather with low relative humidity will create conditions for increased fire activity today and tomorrow. Observers are likely to see smoke plumes over the Buffalo, Central, and Maple fires today.
  • Weather forecasts for today are favorable for continuing the burnout operation for the Maple Fire along the Madison River that began on Thursday. Crews working from the south and north will use fire, aided by low relative humidity and stronger winds, to eliminate fuels between the town of West Yellowstone and the fire's edge. These actions will provide protection to communities in the West Yellowstone area for both this and future fires. A large smoke plume is likely to appear between West Yellowstone and Norris this afternoon.
  • Smoke from the Maple Fire burnout may impact visibility on the West Entrance Road and along Highway 191. Drivers should reduce speeds and remain vigilant while driving through this area.
  • On the Buffalo Fire, crews completed cleanup of downed and hazardous trees from trails yesterday. Firefighters continue to actively monitor the northwest corner of this fire.
  • Note that the Slough Creek area remains closed to entry due to continued activity on the Buffalo Fire. Fishing access to Slough Creek is currently closed.
  • Firefighters continue to monitor the Fawn, Central, and Jasper fires. Heavy fuels such as dry logs are holding heat. As conditions dry out and winds increase, fire could spread from the embers of burning logs into nearby grasses and shrubs.
  • Fire activity from expected burnout operations today will produce higher levels of smoke in the afternoon. Southwest winds should keep smoke moving away from the West Yellowstone area today, but smoke is likely to drift in tonight, lingering into tomorrow morning. Mammoth Hot Springs will possibly experience smoke impacts from the Maple Fire later today. Air quality today is predicted to be GOOD.

What's Open:

  • All entrances to Yellowstone National Park are open.
  • Park visitor centers, concession-operated services, and businesses in surrounding communities remain open.
  • The Harlequin Lake and Purple Mountain trails are open.
  • Mount Holmes, Grizzly Lake, Winter Creek, and Trilobite Lake trails are now outside the closure area for the fire. However, trailheads remain closed due to road construction. Contact the Backcountry Office at 307-344-2160 for information on accessing these trails.

What's Closed:

  • The Bakers Hole area of the Madison River is closed due to the burnout operation on the Maple Fire.
  • The Slough Creek Campground and surrounding area are closed due to the Buffalo Fire.
  • The Mary Mountain Trail is closed due to the Central Fire.
  • Visit the Current Fire Activity for the full list and maps of current backcountry campsite, trail, and road closures.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Are In Effect. Charcoal and wood campfires are prohibited in backcountry campsites, but are allowed in campgrounds and picnic areas. Visit our Current Fire Activity page for additional details.

Maple Fire: 42,000 acres (no increase since yesterday) Start Date: August 8, 2016 Cause: Lightning

Location: approx. 2.89 miles northwest of West Yellowstone (Intersection of US HWY 20 &287), 3.57 miles southwest of Mount Holmes Lookout, 1.78 miles from Madison Junction

Firefighters took advantage of lighter winds on Friday to strengthen the fuel break east and north of the Madison River. Burnout operations began Thursday on the west side of the fire and will continue for a few days. The eastern edge is secure and is no longer threatening Madison Junction or Norris. Fire crews have established control lines from the Transfer Station north to Gneiss Creek and to the ridge top south of Campanula Creek. Engines and crews continue to patrol the fire's edge.

Buffalo Fire: 10,828 acres (an increase of 40 acres since yesterday) Start Date: August 13, 2016 Cause: Lightning

Location: approximately 3 miles northeast of Tower Junction and 1.6 miles south of the park boundary

Firefighters are actively patrolling the east side of this fire in the Slough Creek area. The east side of the Buffalo Fire can sometimes be seen on the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout –Northeast Webcam at

Fawn Fire: 2,686 (an increase of 2 acres since yesterday) Start Date: August 4, 2016 Cause: Lightning

Location: West of Fawn Pass, approximately 8.5 miles west of Mammoth Hot Springs, 16 miles of West Yellowstone, 10 miles southwest of Gardiner, and 27 miles southeast of Big Sky

The Fawn Fire remains unstaffed and will continue to be monitored. Preparations for structure protection remain in place.

Central Fire: 1,398 acres (an increase of 48 acres since yesterday) Start Date: August 26, 2016 Cause: Lightning

Location: a remote area, approximately 7 miles west of Lake developed area and 2 miles south of Hayden Valley

The Central Fire remains unstaffed and will continue to be monitored. The fire continues to creep to the west and north into heavier timber. The Central Fire can sometimes be seen on the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout –South Webcam at

Jasper Fire: 0.1 acres (no increase since yesterday) Start Date: September 4, 2016 Cause: Lightning

Location: 5.8 miles east of Tower Junction near Specimen Ridge.

The Jasper Fire is burning in a small group of trees and presents no imminent threat to park facilities. It is unstaffed and will be monitored. Fire managers do not anticipate any closures since this fire is burning in a remote area.

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Last updated: September 10, 2016

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