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Fire in Yellowstone National Park

Though it’s late in the season, there’s still the danger of forest fires in Yellowstone National Park, as lightning caused a new fire near Shoshone Lake— the 21st wildland fire in the Park this summer.

Much of the country is easing into the fall, but it’s still unseasonably warm in Yellowstone, with daytime temps well into the 60s and very little precipitation. As a result, there’s a high level of danger for fire, so NPS officials are on the lookout for anything serious. As this one has the potential to do some damage because of its location — some six miles south of the Old Faithful complex and close to the Shoshone Lake Trail — the three-acre Headwaters Fire will be suppressed by Yellowstone and Gallatin National Forest crews supported by helicopter bucket work.

The fire is located three-quarters of a mile east of the six-acre Trischman Fire, which was suppressed and declared controlled on Sept. 14.

Yellowstone officials are also observing five fires managed collectively since August 25 as the Heart Complex. Because of the minimal activity reported in the group, the fires are being managed separately as the Point, Gibbon, Ouzel, Huckleberry and Pitchstone fires could be handled separately by Yellowstone’s wildland fire managers. These fires are expected to be declared out only after a significant fire season-ending weather event, such as extended days of rain or snow.

In addition, crews continue to monitor the Point Fire on the eastern shore of Yellowstone Lake and provide protection for the Clear Creek Patrol Cabin. The Thorofare Trail remains closed from the Nine Mile Trailhead to one mile south of the fire area.

With the exception of the Point Fire, which has reached approximately 1,800 acres, and the Gibbon Fire, which has reached 24 acres, the remaining fires were each less than two acres. All are being managed to allow natural processes to occur to enhance the area’s natural resources, to protect people and property, and to effectively use available firefighting resources.

The bottom line: None of these fires are impacting visitor activities. There may be times smoke will waft onto roadways, but in general the fires are remote enough where most visitors won’t catch a glimpse of them.

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