The Beach Fire — so named because it started close to Beach Lake in south-central Yellowstone, about seven miles from the Bridge Bay Campground — peaked at 520 acres before a management plan combining movement toward the burned-out areas created last summer by the Arnica Fire and the installation of control lines to the west and north halted its growth. The fire had the potential to spread much farther; there’s a lot of underbrush and dead trees in the middle of Yellowstone National Park, ideal kindling for a blaze of some sort. It will, of course, happen at some point, but perhaps the best outcome are smaller fires like this and the Arnica Fire than take out the underbrush without roaring out of control.
Tomorrow at 6 a.m. the Incident Management Team will hand off management of firefighting duties to the National Park Service; the hot-shot crews wrapped up their responsibilities today.
Park officials will continue to manage the fire until the fire is declared inactive. The fire area will be monitored by aircraft. Expect to see smoke as unburned fuels in the fire’s interior continues to burn and smolder.
The fire never threatened any backcountry trails or campsites; in addition, no roads or tourist facilities were closed.
Photos by Jess Secrest, Northern Rockies Type 2 Incident Management Team.
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