Road Still Closed Between Grand Teton and Yellowstone As Maple Fire Swells

The road between Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks is still closed due to the Berry Fire.

We previously reported the closure Monday, August 22. According to Inciweb, the Berry Fire measures 6,819 acres and is now burning on both sides of U.S. 191. Lizard Creek and Headwaters Campgrounds, along with Flagg Ranch, have been evacuated.

According to a Yellowstone press release, the acreages of Maple, Buffalo, and Fawn Fires have not been updated at this time. Owing to mechanical issues, crews were unable to conduct an infrared flight to update fire maps for each incident. Ground crews do report, however, that Maple, Buffalo, and Fawn Fires did grow overnight. Updated acreages should be available tonight if a new flight is conducted.

Here are the measurements of each major fire as of our last report:

• Maple: 27,101 acres.
• Buffalo: 2,691 acres.
• Fawn: 1,804 acres.

Cooler conditions yesterday “moderated” Maple Fire’s spread, according to the release. Crews day they will undertake “strategic, small-scale, burnout operations” if the fire creeps closer to the Madison River. Maple reportedly grew along its north flank yesterday; crews dispatched “fire boss” water scoopers to delay further growth.

In addition, Diane Hutton’s Wildland Fire Management Team will assume control of the Maple Fire tomorrow at 6 a.m. They are currently stationed in West Yellowstone. Another community meeting has been planned for Thursday, August 25. Details are forthcoming. The previous meeting was held Monday, August 22.

As of writing, Maple Fire has not crossed the West Entrance Road. At this time, vehicles may still travel along the route; in the event that smoke or fire activity increases, pilot cars will take the road to escort vehicles along the road.

Contingency plans are still in place in case the fire starts moving toward West Yellowstone.

Following a pattern from the past few days, the Buffalo Fire showed growth early in the day before smoke from the Maple Fire shadowed it and impeded its growth. Crews say they don’t expect it to grow much today, especially in the north.

Fawn Fire continues to grow as fuels continue to dry out. Water drops were called in to slow growth on the northeast side.

All park roads and visitor facilities, both NPS- and concessionaire-operated, are open at this time.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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