Lightning has started another fire in Yellowstone National Park this season.
Dubbed the Spruce fire, it currently encompasses a tenth of an acre, smoldering through mixed conifer forest terrain. It is approximately ten miles west of Fishing Bridge and two miles south of the Hayden Valley. It was discovered Wednesday, September 9, by a helicopter.
Given the size and relative distance of the fire from visitor infrastructure, Park officials have not closed any campgrounds or hiking trails. Fire crews are monitoring the fire and don’t expect it to flare up.
The Spruce fire marks the second fire to start burning in Yellowstone National Park. The first, dubbed 5L4 due to its proximity to a backcountry campground, was sighted on Promontory Peninsula August 24. As of today, 5L4 is burning at 16 acres and is not terribly active. Fire crews are on the scene managing the fire. As previously reported, the backcountry campsites 5L3, 5L4, and 6A1 are still closed.
Also as previously reported, the fire danger in Yellowstone remains “High,” although there are no fire restrictions in place regarding grills in park campground and picnic areas as well as certain backcountry campgrounds.
September 6, the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group (which brings together top-ranking fire officials at the state and federal level) lowered the National Fire Preparedness Level down to 4, from its highest level 5. Across six states in the West, 43 fires and fire complexes are burning, down from 66 fire in 11 states as last reported August 25.
UPDATE: The fire has grown to 100 acres, from the previously reported tenth of an acre size.