Fire Update, 9-2-2016

September 02, 2016 Posted by: Yellowstone Fire Information
High Winds Today Expected to Increase Fire Activity
Today's Key Points
  • Critical fire weather conditions continue today with a slight possibility of dry, isolated thunderstorms with lightning and erratic winds. A cold front is expected to pass through the area with sustained winds of 25-30 mph. Ridgetop gusts could be as high as 45mph. Winds will predominately be from the southwest, but could be very erratic depending on terrain and potential outflow winds from dry thunderstorms. Temperatures will be slightly cooler today and the relative humidity will continue to be low. A Red Flag Warning is in effect for today and Saturday.
  • The Buffalo Fire can easily be seen from several vantage points along the road between Tower Junction and the Northeast Entrance. Activity is expected to be high in that area again today. Fire crews will continue to keep the fire west of Slough Creek Trail. Helicopter operations may be visible. The eastern side of the fire made significant movement yesterday in sage and grass and helicopters dropped water to cool it down.
  • The Fawn Fire was very active yesterday and grew to the north. The fire is expected to continue to push to the north today. 
  • The Central Fire was less active yesterday, but continues to grow slowly to the north. 
  • West Yellowstone received a trace of rain yesterday which helped reduce smoke from the Maple Fire, however large fuels in the area are still critically dry. 
  • Slight traffic delays may be possible along portions of the West Entrance Road between West Yellowstone and Madison Junction depending on fire activity. Please stay alert for fire personnel working along the road.
  • Yesterday, much of the park had clear skies and little smoke impairing views. Smoke conditions in the park vary day-to-day depending on fire activity and winds. Current conditions in the park are visible from the park webcams at 

What's Open
  • All entrances to Yellowstone are open.
  • Park visitor facilities, including park concession-operated services, and businesses in surrounding communities remain open.
  • The Bakers Hole area of the Madison River is open. 
What's Closed
  • The Slough Creek area, including the day use and campground are closed due to the Buffalo Fire.
  • The Mary Mountain Trail is closed for visitor use due to the Central Fire. 
  • Visit the links below for the full list and maps of current backcountry campsite, trail, and road closures. 
Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Are In Effect: Charcoal and wood fires are prohibited. Visit the links below for additional details. 

Maple Fire: 38,004 acres (approximately 1,285 acre increase on Wednesday. There was no Infrared flight last night.)
Location: approx. 3.56 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.
Fire activity remained relatively quiet yesterday. Aggressive suppression actions were used to slow the fire's progression towards the west. Fire managers established control lines including a combination of handline, natural barriers, hose lays, and burned out areas. Aerial resources also remain available and will be used as needed. Crews will delay the fire's progression in Richard's Creek and will assess the need for burnout operations north and south of Cougar Creek. They will continue to hold the established control line from Gneiss Creek to the ridge top south of Campanula Creek. Crews will implement burning operations as needed in front of the fire's progression at Riverview.
Fire crews continue to work on fuels reduction projects on the western boundary of the park to help reduce the risk of wildfire spread into the vicinity of West Yellowstone. Fuel reduction and structure protection measures with sprinkler systems at Madison Junction have been completed and will continue to be staffed as the fire progresses. 
West of the Seven Mile Bridge, crews will continue to burn out areas north of the Madison River as the fire moves south. East of the Seven Mile Bridge, crews have finished evaluating and removing root-weakened trees and snags as a result of the burnout operations conducted along the highway. Fire managers continue to use night shifts to patrol and monitor fire activity from the Seven Mile Bridge around the west boundary north to the Duck Creek subdivision area. 

Buffalo Fire: 7,422 acres (approximately 2,980 acre increase)
Location: approximately 3 mi NE of Tower Junction and 2 mi S of the park boundary. 
The Buffalo Fire remains active, especially on the east side of the fire near the Slough Creek Trail. 

Fawn Fire: 2,527 acres (approximately 398 acre increase)
Location: W of Fawn Pass, approximately 8 mi W of Mammoth Hot Springs, 18.5 mi NE of West Yellowstone, 13 mi SW of Gardiner, and 27 mi SE of Big Sky. 
The Fawn Fire is expected to be active again today with primary movement to the north. 

Central Fire: 1,260 acres (approximately 67 acre increase)
Location: a remote area, approximately 8.5 mi W of Lake developed area and 2 mi S of Hayden Valley 
The Central Fire continues to back into the wind to the west where it is burning in an area that burned in 1988. Where the fire has burned into Hayden Valley to the northeast, the grasses are not carrying it. There has been limited growth on the southwest side of the fire. An area that burned during the 2015 Spruce Fire is limiting its spread to the southeast.

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Last updated: September 2, 2016

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