Fire Update, 9-9-2016

September 09, 2016 Posted by: Yellowstone Fire Information

Today's Key Points

  • With lighter winds in the forecast for today, fire activity is expected to be minimal. Breezy, warm weather is expected tomorrow, creating conditions for increased fire activity over the weekend.
  • Yesterday, firefighters began burnout operations on the Maple Fire east of the Madison River. Observers noted a significant smoke plume in the late afternoon. The goal of the burnout is to remove unburned fuel and prevent uncontrolled spread of fire toward the town of West Yellowstone for both this and future fires. Firefighters may limit ignitions today since weather conditions are less favorable for burning, but they anticipate continuing with the burnout on Saturday.
  • On the Buffalo Fire yesterday, firefighters continued to work in the Slough Creek area to prevent the fire from crossing the Slough Creek Trail. Crews completed cutting down hazardous dead trees along the Buffalo Fork and Soldier's trails.
  • 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. These fires have not increased in size over the last few days and continue to smolder and creep.
  • The burnout on the Maple Fire yesterday produce a large quantity of smoke, but southwest winds and light showers cleared the air. Smoke returned to the Duck Creek area early this morning but should lift by afternoon. Smoke generated by the fire today is likely to impact the Madison River area towards Madison Junction. In West Yellowstone and the Hebgen Lake area, smoke is likely to drift in tonight, lingering into tomorrow morning. 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 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 our Current Fire Activity page for additional details.

Maple Fire: 42,000 acres (an increase of 338 acres since yesterday) Start Date: August 8, 2016 Cause: Lightning

Location: approx. 3.29 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 began yesterday on the west side of the fire. 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: 10,788 acres (an increase of one acre since yesterday) Start Date: August 13, 2016 Cause: Lightning

Location: approximately 3 mi NE of Tower Junction and 1.6 mi S of the park boundary

Firefighters are continuing to work on 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: 2,684 (no increase 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. Preparations for structure protection remain in place. The fire will continue to be monitored by air.

Central Fire: 1,350 acres (no increase since yesterday) 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. It will continue to be monitored by air. 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 E 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 9, 2016

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Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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