Fire Update, 9-4-2016

September 04, 2016 Posted by: Yellowstone Fire Information

Today, a storm system is expected to pass over the area today. Cooler temperatures and precipitation will significantly slow fire;however, this is not expected to be a season-ending event.

There are fire information boards posted around the park including at the Albright Visitor Center in Mammoth Hot Springs, near the Slough Creek Campground entrance east of Tower Junction, at the Canyon Visitor Education Center, at the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center, along the road between the West Entrance and Madison Junction, and at the Norris Geyser Basin. Public Information Officers are frequently stationed at these locations to answer questions about fire information. 

As larger fuels smolder overnight, smoke will drift down valley, briefly impacting areas such as West Yellowstone, Duck Creek, Gardiner, Mammoth Hot Springs and Madison Junction. This morning, expect brief episodes of heavy smoke to drift in and out, dispersing somewhat as the inversion lifts by mid-morning. With insufficient winds to move smoke out of affected areas, today's overall air quality may range between MODERATE and GOOD. Any rain that occurs today will scrub the air of smoke and leave GOOD air quality for a while. Rainfall will be insufficient to end burning and smoldering such that smoke will follow evening down-valley flows and settle in nearby valley communities (unless it rains which will clear the air for a little while). 

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 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.

Maple Fire: 40,015 acres (an increase of 595 acres) 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 

Yesterday, fire activity was minimal on the Maple Fire with only creeping and smoldering due to the cooler temperature and higher humidity. Fire crews have established control lines from the Transfer Station, north to Gneiss Creek to the ridge top south of Campanula Creek. These control lines are a combination of hand line, natural barriers, hose lays, and secure burned out areas. 

Fire managers continue to work to keep the fire north of the West Entrance Road and the Madison River. Fuel reduction has been completed and structural protection with sprinkler systems at Madison Junction will continue to be staffed. 

Fuel reduction work south of the West Entrance is ongoing. This work is designed to reduce the risk of wildfire spread into the park administrative site and into the town of West Yellowstone

Pullouts along the park road between the West Entrance and Madison Junction that were closed due to the Maple Fire have reopened. 

A community meeting for the Maple Fire will be held at the LDS church, 245 Faithful Street, West Yellowstone, MT at 7:30 pm on Monday. 

Buffalo Fire: 9,737 acres (approximately 2,315 increase, based on an estimated GPS perimeter) Location: approximately 3 mi NE of Tower Junction and 1.5 mi S of the park boundary The Buffalo Fire is primarily growing in a northeast direction along Anderson Ridge. The fire has not crossed the Slough Creek Trail to the east. 

Yesterday, the Buffalo Fire burned actively in the late afternoon in areas of sage and grass and grew to the northeast along Anderson Ridge. The spot fire across Slough Creek has still been kept west of Slough Creek Trail. The east side of the Buffalo Fire can be seen on the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout –Northeast Webcam at

Fawn Fire: 2,684 (approximately 118 acre increase) Location: W of Fawn Pass, approximately 8 mi W of Mammoth Hot Springs, 18.5 mi NE of West Yellowstone, 4.5 mi SW of Park Boundary, and 27 mi SE of Big Sky Due to the anticipated cool, wet weather, the Fawn Fire will be unstaffed for the immediate future.

The Fawn Fire is currently unstaffed. Preparations for structural protection remain in place. The fire will continue to be monitored by air. No appreciable growth is expected today on the Fawn Fire. However, there is still substantial heat in the heavy timber and it will take significant and repeated precipitation to extinguish the fire. 

Central Fire: 1,350 acres (No update in acreage: there was no infrared flight last night.) Location: a remote area, approximately 8.5 mi W of Lake developed area and 2.5 mi S of Hayden Valley.

The Central Fire remains unstaffed. It will continue to be monitored by air. The fire continues to creep to the south in grass and north into heavier timber. The Central Fire can be seen on the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout –South Webcam at

Stage 2 fire restrictions are in effect.Visit our Current Fire Activity page for more information on fire restrictions and backcountry campsite and trail closures.

1 Comments Comments icon

  1. September 07, 2016 at 12:27

    Any idea if the Slough Creek campground will re-open this season?

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Last updated: September 4, 2016

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