Yellowstone National Park

Arnica Fire Grows to 9,300 Acres; Officials Protecting Lake Hotel

The fire is now up to 9,300 acres and continues its movement primarily west and south, centered around the Bridge Bay Marina. The fire has forced the indefinite closure of the Grand Loop Road between the Junction at Fishing Bridge and West Thumb; officials had hoped to reopen it today, but the fire has now jumped the road and poses dangers for passing motorists.

The closure is drastically impacting travelers in the Park: with the closure of the Madison to Norris portion in the western part of the Grand Loop Road, the route is the only way to move between the south and north parts of the Park.

The fire also caused Park officials to take precautionary action in protecting Lake Village and Lake Hotel, the oldest hotel in the Park. A sprinkler system is in place to protect the buildings from fire damage, and that system ran all night last night, as well as this morning. However, the actions are at this point purely precautionary: the fire is more than two miles from Lake Village and not rapidly moving in that direction. So far the only Park buildings in any danger are at the Bridge Bay Marina area.

Weather could bring relief as late tomorrow, when rain and snow is in the forecast along with high winds. High winds, of course, could help the fire spread further, but a good amount of precipitation could more than counter that.

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