The Yellowstone National Park Spruce Fire now measures an estimated 2,119 acres as of 1:30 p.m. Sunday, September 13.
Previously, the Spruce Fire was reported as measuring just over 1,000 acres, with crews monitoring the fire’s growth and progression. Since its discovery Wednesday, September 9, the fire has grown from a tenth of an acre to its present size, a 21,190 percent increase. It is following a mosaic pattern, where some patches burn more than others with varying intensity.
In spite of the marked increase in acreage, crews do not expect the Spruce Fire to flare up much more. September 14’s weather forecast calls for cooler, cloudier, and wetter conditions. And ironically, other fires may be contributing to the possible curtailment of Spruce Fire; hazy smoke blowing in from California and Idaho wildfires may have acted as a temporary screen, complicating conditions for the Spruce Fire to continue growing.
Fire crews do not expect the need to intervene; indeed, the general policy is to let fires burn and fulfill an ecological role unless they threaten park infrastructure.
Despite Spruce Fire’s present size, burning ten miles west of Fishing Bridge and two miles south of Hayden Valley, there are no facility, trail, or road closures in effect. Smoke has become an increasing concern as the Spruce Fire has grown in acreage, with the plume visible for miles around, most spectacularly from the Dunraven Pass and the Mount Washburn fire lookout webcam.
In other fire news, the 5L4 fire on Promontory Peninsula is still steadily burning at 16 acres. Backcountry campsites 5L3, 5L4, and 6A1 are still closed until further notice. In addition, crews suppressed two fires September 10 (a human-caused fire in Mammoth Hot Springs) and September 12 (a lightning-caused fire discovered near the northwest boundary of Yellowstone National Park).
Fire danger in Yellowstone is still reported as “High,” although there are no fire restrictions in place, with campfires permitted at select campgrounds, picnic areas, and backcountry sites.