Winds from the north Thursday, August 18, smoke from the Maple Fire floated across the West Entrance Road toward Madison and West Yellowstone, MT.
We previously reported that Maple Fire had grown to approximately 14,000 acres and has started moving south and southeast. Currently, it is three-fourths-of-a-mile away from the West Entrance Road. Crews are cautioning that Maple Fire could creep closer to the road over the next several days.
Staff in Yellowstone National Park are taking precautionary measures to safeguard visitor safety, posting Smoke Ahead signs in both Madison and West Yellowstone. Visitors should drive cautiously on the West Entrance Road and should turn their headlights on when they encounter smoke. From a Yellowstone press release:
In addition, firefighters will be working in the Madison and Tower areas to do structure assessments over the next several days.
• Firefighters will determine what resources may need to be ordered (crews, engines, pumps, hoses, supplies) in the event that the Maple and Buffalo fires move toward Madison and Tower.
• Firefighters will also be creating defensible space around structures in these two areas of the park.
Stage 1 fire restrictions are still in place for Yellowstone National Park. Currently, all Park roads and visitor facilities, both NPS- and concessionaire-operated, are open. In addition, business in West Yellowstone and other gateway communities are still open.