Fire Update, 9-12-2016

September 12, 2016 Posted by: Yellowstone Fire Information
Today's Key Points
  • All fires were very active yesterday afternoon due to strong winds, warm weather and low relative humidity. Overnight, the winds died down and about one tenth of an inch of rain fell across the park, checking further fire growth.
  • The South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park closed yesterday afternoon due to the Berry Fire burning south of the park. As of 10 am, the road between Grant Village and the South Entrance remains closed. Lewis Lake Campground is open with access from the north only.
  • On the Maple Fire yesterday, crews completed burnout operations to secure the west side of the fire. Southwest winds assisted firefighters in reinforcing the fire line along the Madison River. Today, crews will be actively monitoring the fire.
  • Today is the last day of operations for the Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team that has been managing the Maple Fire. A Type 3 Incident Management Team is transitioning in today and will assume management of this fire tomorrow. 
  • A community meeting for the Maple Fire will be held at the LDS church, 245 Faithful Street, West Yellowstone, MT at 7:30 pm today. 
  • Yesterday on the Buffalo Fire, winds caused the fire to spread a few miles to the north, with active burning in timber, sagebrush and grass. With wetting rains overnight, and snow dusting the ridgetops of the burn area, firefighters will be reassessing conditions today. 
  • 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.
  • The Central Fire was very active yesterday, with plenty of smoke visible due to windy conditions. Firefighters continue to monitor the Fawn, Central, and Jasper fires.
  • Rain showers in the area cleared the air. Smoke impacts should be minimal this evening into tomorrow. Expect GOOD air quality in the entire region today. 
What's Open:
  • Most entrances to Yellowstone National Park are open. However, the South Entrance remains closed as of 10 am. 
  • 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 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.
  • All Madison River closures have been lifted. The Barn's Hole Road and all park pullouts along the Madison River/West Entrance Road are open. 
What's Closed:
  • As of 10 am, the South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park remains closed. The closure includes Hwy 89/191/287 from south of the park boundary to Lewis Lake in Yellowstone National Park. To check on current status call 307-344-2117. 
  • 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 links below 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 the links below for additional details. 

Maple Fire: 43,490 acres (an increase of 1,090 acres since yesterday) 
Start Date: August 8, 2016 Cause: Lightning Location: approx. 2.89 mi NE of West Yellowstone (Intersection of US HWY 20 &287), 3.57 mi SW of Mount Holmes Lookout, 1.78 mi from Madison Junction 

Burnout operations on the west side of the fire are complete. The burnout created a break in fuels between the town of West Yellowstone and the fire, providing protection to communities in the West Yellowstone area for both this and future fires. 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: 10,839 acres, with significant increase since yesterday. (Acreage is estimated;mapping today will produce more accurate data.) 
Start Date: August 13, 2016 Cause: Lightning Location: approximately 3 mi NE of Tower Junction and 1.6 mi S of the park boundary 

Crews have completed cleanup of downed and hazardous trees from trails. The east side of the Buffalo Fire can sometimes be seen on the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout –Northeast Webcam at 

Fawn Fire: 2,694, an increase of 8 acres since yesterday. 
Start Date: August 4, 2016 Cause: Lightning Location: W of Fawn Pass, approximately 8.5 mi W of Mammoth Hot Springs, 16 mi NE of West Yellowstone, 10 miles SW of Gardiner, and 27 mi SE of Big Sky 

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

Central Fire: 1,399 acres, with some increase since yesterday. (Acreage is estimated; mapping today will produce more accurate data.) 
Start Date: August 26, 2016 Cause: Lightning Location: a remote area, approximately 7 mi W of Lake developed area and 2 mi S of Hayden Valley The Central Fire remains unstaffed and will continue to be monitored. 

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 E of Tower Junction near Specimen Ridge. 

The Jasper Fire is unstaffed and will continue to be monitored. 

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Last updated: September 12, 2016

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