Rain calms Yellowstone National Park fires
The following is a news release from Yellowstone National Park.
August 23, 2013 – 9:00 a.m.
Overview: Fire managers continued to closely monitor the fires that comprise the Druid Complex on Thursday. Fire activity was greatly moderated by rain falling in many fire areas; some received as much as an inch of rain, while others received less. Fire managers flew over each fire and observed mostly creeping and smoldering along the fires’ edges resulting in total fire acreage for the complex of 11,658 acres. No plumes were visible, but they could appear again if the heat and wind increase.
Scattered thunderstorms are expected again on Friday. If the additional rain hits the fires it may further help tame the fires’ spread. The cooler temperatures and increased humidity that accompany the storms will also continue to help moderate fire activity. Concern remains over the potential for lightning to ignite new fires in the park; initial attack resources are available to respond if any new fires are reported. The highest priority in managing these fires remains the protection of public and firefighter safety.
All of the fires were started by lightning between August 9 and August 14. Resources currently working on the fire include helicopters, crews, engines and specialized equipment designed to remove vegetation.
Public Information Officers will be available at fire information boards at the Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge Visitor Centers on Friday afternoon to help inform visitors about the fires and answer questions.
Alum Fire: The Alum Fire (pronounced AL-umm, not ah-LUM) is located in the heart of the park, just west of the section of the Grand Loop Road between Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge. The fire was active around its entire perimeter on Thursday, but actual fire spread was minimal. Significant areas of heat remain within the fire’s interior. The southern flank of the fire is still retaining a great deal of heat as well. The fire is expected to continue to creep towards the west and the east on Friday.
Scouting and planning for firing operations to help protect cherished places in the Lake Village area will continue on Friday. Fire managers will also continue to focus on protection of the road corridor and the boardwalks in Mud Volcano. Three feller-bunchers, large pieces of equipment for cutting trees into manageable chunks for removal, are also now working to help clear vegetation along powerline corridors. These areas are being prepped for possible future firing operations should the fire advance towards the northwest shore of Yellowstone Lake. Patrols began working last night along the Great Loop Road between the Canyon and Lake Village areas through the night to maintain a watchful eye on the fire’s activity.
Mud Volcano, LeHardy Rapids, and several picnic areas and pullouts, as well as some backcountry trails in the area are temporarily closed.
Alder Fire: This fire is isolated on a peninsula at the south end of Yellowstone Lake and is buffered by water on three sides and a recently burned area to the south. Minimal fire activity was observed on Thursday. Approximately 0.25 inches of rain fell over the fire area. All backcountry campsites on the Promontory are temporarily closed.
Druid Fire: The Druid Fire is located high above the Northeast Entrance road on the north side of Druid Peak. The fire activity observed on Thursday was minimal, despite very little rainfall. There remains a potential for smoke from the fire to impact Cooke City and Silver Gate if it becomes more active; if so, it could produce a visible plume in the northeast section of the park.
Snake Fire: The Snake Fire is located three miles east of the South Entrance along the boundary with the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The fire remained quiet, grew little and has little potential for growth.
Passage Fire: The Passage Fire is located at the south end of Yellowstone Lake. Fire managers didn’t observe any fire activity or smoke from this small 1 acre fire on Thursday. This will be the last report in this fire in the complex.
Impacts to visitors and area residents: All roads leading into and through the park as well as the roads to all campgrounds, lodging, stores and visitor services in the park are open. All visitors are encouraged to check for updates often as road closures may be needed based on the fire’s activity. Updated park road information is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.