Lightning Starts Small Fire in Yellowstone

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Date: September 10, 2015
Contact: Julena Campbell , (307)344-2015
Contact: Amy Bartlett, (307)344-2015

A new wildland fire is burning in Yellowstone National Park. The Spruce fire, discovered Wednesday, September 9, by the park helicopter, is estimated to be a tenth of an acre in size. It is located in a wooded area ten miles west of Fishing Bridge and two miles south of Hayden Valley in the central portion of the park. The fire, likely caused by lightning from scattered storms that passed through the area at least five days ago, is smoldering and creeping through a mixed conifer forest. It is not threatening any structures or roads and will be monitored by park fire crews and allowed to play its natural role in the ecosystem. There are currently no area closures due to the fire.

There are now two fires burning within Yellowstone National Park. The 5L4 fire on the Promontory Peninsula at the south end of Yellowstone Lake was reported on August 24, and is currently 16 acres and not very active. Fire crews are managing the fire for its benefits to park resources. Backcountry campsites 5L3, 5L4, and 6A1 continue to be closed due to the 5L4 fire.

The fire danger in Yellowstone National Park is currently "High." There are no fire restrictions in place, however, campfires are only allowed in designated grills in park campgrounds, some picnic areas, and specific backcountry campsites. The National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group, which consists of top federal and state fire managers, dropped the National Fire Preparedness Level down from 5, the highest level possible, to 4, on September 6. Preparedness level 4 reflects a high degree of wildfire activity, a major commitment of fire resources, and the probability that severe conditions will continue for at least a few days. There are currently 43 large fires or complexes of fires, burning in six states across the west. -

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Last updated: September 10, 2015

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