Mount Washburn Webcam

The Antelope Fire, once given up for dead by firefighters, has unexpectedly jumped the Yellowstone River and has made its way through mature forest, forcing the closure of several campgrounds and trails and causing Park officials to bring back the firefighters.

Antelope Fire Jumps Yellowstone River, Spreads Quickly

The fire had been deemed as having a low chance of spreading past some regenerated forest near Mount Washburn, as it was hemmed in by the Yellowstone River.

The unexpected happened: the fire jumped the Yellowstone River and is now making its way through mature forest between areas impacted by the 1988 North Fork Fire and the 2002 Broad Fire.

As a result, the fire has now spread to 3,200 acres — not a huge jump, but one causing National Park Service officials to transition back to a fire-prevention mode from a fire-observing mode. Right now a normal crew of 30 firefighters, five engines and a helicopter have been dispatched to the Tower Falls/Roosevelt Lodge area, where they’ll join with an additional helicopter to protect the historic facilities. Meanwhile, the Agate Creek Trail, Specimen Ridge Trail, and backcountry campsite 2Y1 are all closed. No roads are closed at this time.

Unseasonably warm weather is partly responsible for the fire’s continued growth.

RELATED STORIES: Antelope Fire Burns Down; Will Be Monitored, Not Fought; Antelope Fire Stalls to Southeast; Containment Expected Soon; Antelope Fire at 2,800 Acres; Growth is to South; Oops, Wrong Turn: Tower Road Remains ClosedAntelope Fire from the Field: It’s Just a Small Fire Antelope Fire Now at 2,199 Acres, Moving South; Antelope Fire Expands to 1,600 Acres; Antelope Fire Now at 60 Acres; Two Small Fires Emerge in Yellowstone

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