Maple Fire has grown to 30,309 acres while Buffalo and Fawn Fires posted minimal gains.
At this time, the South Entrance to Yellowstone is still closed due to the Berry Fire in Grand Teton National Park. Visitors can still use the South Entrance Road, but they will not be permitted past the Entrance.
According to a Yellowstone press release, the Maple Fire is now 3.5 miles southwest of the Mount Holmes Fire Lookout. We previously reported that updated acreages for the fire were unavailable due to a mechanical error with the infrared fire mapping tools.
Cooler conditions and a spot of light rain curbed Maple Fire’s growth, although the northern flank grew moderately. According to aerial crews, the fire’s center has started to cool, with only the perimeter still active.
Despite its current proximity to the West Entrance Road, firefighters say they do not expect it to cross the road—nor do they expect it to close the road. In the event that smoke picks up, pilot cars will be deployed to escort visitors along the route. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has issued a air quality warning for the area around the Maple Fire, due to smoke.
Diane Hutton’s Wildland Fire Management Team has assumed control of the Maple Fire and have started working on a “fuel break” on the western edge of Yellowstone to further stamp out any chance of the fire spreading to West Yellowstone. They’re also preparing “strategic burn out operations” for when the fire approaches the Madison River.
A community meeting has been announced in West Yellowstone to formally introduce Diane Hutton and her team. The address and time is below:
Church of Latter Day Saints
245 Faithful Street
West Yellowstone, MT
6 p.m. Thursday, August 25
To the north, Buffalo Fire grew to 2,769 acres, with most of the growth coming on the south flank as the fire bit into sage and timber. Fawn Fire, meanwhile, now measures 1,880 acres and is, according to the crew at the Fawn Pass cabin, “[seeking] opportunities to grow as it finds receptive fuels.”
All other Park roads and visitor facilities, both NPS- and concessionaire-operated, are open at this time. Admission to Yellowstone is free today through Sunday in celebration of the NPS Centennial.