Yellowstone National Park

Arnica Fire Continues Expansion; Weather Could Provide Relief Tomorrow

In addition, crews continue to use sprinkler systems to protect Lake Village and the Lake Hotel, the oldest hotel in Yellowstone National Park. The move is strictly precautionary: the fire is three miles away from the area and currently not moving in that direction.

The Grand Loop Road is expected to remain closed all day today and tonight, as weather will provide little relief in the immediate future. The fire’s intensity has grown to the point where crews cannot get to the Grand Loop Road area to remove snags and burning trees. Specifically, the road is closed between an area south of Lake Village to West Thumb.

The fire 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. Going from north to south means a reroute through Old Faithful and West Yellowstone or all the way down to Riverton and then up to Cody.

Today’s weather forecast is a mixed bag. Temps are expected to rise to 68 degrees, with some wind expected in the later afternoon — the peak time for the fire to expand. However, there’s the chance for a stray thunderstorm all day, and by the evening the chances of rain and snow will increase. Tomorrow could bring the major relief: the forecast is for rain and snow by midmorning, with temperatures only in the mid-30s by midafternoon.

Despite the size of the fire — 9,300 acres and growing — there have been few closures outside of the Grand Loop Road. So far trail closures have been limited to the Elephant Back and Natural Bridge Trails, and the only Park buildings in any danger are at the Bridge Bay Marina area.

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