Fire restrictions are in effect in Yellowstone National Park, due to extreme fire danger.
According to a Yellowstone press release, the prevailing weather conditions (hot, dry weather, along with the recent flare-up of Fawn Fire) have pushed Yellowstone to implement Stage 1 fire restrictions. They went into effect noon Monday, August 8, 2016, and are expected to stay in place for the near future. From a Yellowstone press release:
These restrictions are designed to protect people, property and the area’s natural resources. Temporary restrictions will remain in place until further notice, and may be increased or reduced at any time due to changes in weather and fire danger.
A change in the weather forecast for today calls for warmer and drier conditions. Typically, fire activity picks up in the afternoon as temperatures rise, relative humidity levels drop, and gusty winds increase. Fire activity is expected to increase in the coming days. Visitors and surrounding communities should expect varying levels of smoke through the day and smoke levels to increase during the afternoon.
The extended weather forecast calls for continued hot and dry conditions, with a slight chance of isolated afternoon thunderstorms. The potential for fires igniting remains high.
Under Stage 1 fire restrictions, visitors may not start charcoal or wood fires at any of the Park’s backcountry campsites. Visitors are still permitted to build fires in Park campgrounds, day-use picnic areas, and employee residential areas in established fire rings. Visitors may use portable stoves/lanterns powered by pressurized liquid, gas, and/or jellied petroleum so long as ground cover and vegetation is cleared within three feet of the device.
Most importantly, visitors may only smoke when inside their vehicles, on sidewalks, in gravel/paved parking lots, in permitting campgrounds, near backcountry fire rings, and in designated smoking areas. Smoking on trails and in thermal basis is prohibited.
In addition to those rules and restrictions, Yellowstone prohibits the following practices year-round, according to a Park press release:
• Discharge of fireworks or firearms.
• Use of explosives or pyrotechnic devices.
• Abandoning or failing to attend a campfire.
• Driving a vehicle off-road.
• Smoking in all thermal areas and all posted and designated areas such as trails.
• Wood fires at the Fishing Bridge RV Park, Shoshone Lake backcountry campsites or any backcountry campsite without a provided rock or metal fire ring.
UPDATE: Stage 2 Fire Restrictions have been announced for Yellowstone. Stage 1 restrictions are still in place. Read the full story here.