Yellowstone National Park’s Spruce fire has grown to 425 acres, an over 400 percent increase from its previously reported size of 100 acres.
The fire was discovered September 9 by a helicopter flying over the site. At that time it was only a tenth of an acre. The new acre size of the Spruce fire was observed at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 12. Previously, the fire was much smaller, but temperatures increased and relative humidity decreased overnight into the afternoon, which helped stoke the fire.
The Spruce fire is burning in an area ten miles west of Fishing Bridge and two miles south of Hayden Valley. Park officials believe the fire was started by a lightning strike. Fire crews have monitored the fire since its discovery September 9 and do not expect it to seriously endanger any Yellowstone structures or visitor infrastructure.
Since the fire is relatively isolated and does not pose an immediate threat, there are no backcountry campground closures or fire restrictions in effect. Fires are only permitted in official Yellowstone fire pits and grills, located in select campgrounds, picnic sites, and backcountry sites.
The Spruce fire is burning concurrently with the 5L4 fire on Promontory Peninsula, discovered in late August. There have been no observed changes in the 5L4 fire; in addition, all the backcountry campground closures (sites 5L3, 5L4, 6A1) are still in effect.
As previously reported, the fire danger in Yellowstone National Park is still listed as “High.” The National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group has set their National Fire Preparedness Level to 4. Earlier in the season, the Preparedness Level was set at its highest possible tier, 5.
Across the American West, in six states, there are 37 large fires or fire complexes burning. This is down from the previously reported 43 fires across six states.