Fires Grow Slightly In Yellowstone, Cooler Conditions Forecasted Today

Maple, Buffalo, and Fawn Fires grew slightly overnight as cooler conditions prevailed in Yellowstone National Park.

According to a Yellowstone press release, acreages for all three fires have not been updated. They will be updated later tonight after an infrared mapping flight.

In addition, Yellowstone’s South Entrance is still closed due to activity from the Berry Fire. According to Inciweb, the fire now measures 12,378 acres, spread across both sides of U.S. 191. Most of the conflagration is on the west side, around the northern tip of Jackson Lake. Smoke is visible along roadways in Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Lake.

Crews say fire growth will be moderate due to weather conditions. Maple Fire, for instance, got doused with some light rain this morning; the weather forecast further calls for partly cloudy skies, 27-34 percent humidity, and temperatures between 58-63 degrees. The forecast also calls for warmer, windier conditions Saturday.

The Maple Fire had minimal growth yesterday, but picked up in the afternoon as it burned through dead/downed trees near the fire’s edge. According to crews, the interior of the fire is still cool.

Crews day they will be conducting a “fuels reduction project” on the western edge of the fire, toward West Yellowstone. The area will be closed to the public while the project is ongoing. The project area includes the Boundary Trail, Riverside Trail, and the Old Airport Road.

Firefighters are also preparing to hold the fire north of the Madison River, and have planned burn out operations.

Buffalo Fire exhibited moderate growth Thursday. Throughout the day, a Fire Behavior Assessment Team (FBAT) will install sensors in the area to chart potential growth.

Fawn Fire, meanwhile, continues to smolder, although crews at the Fawn Pass cabin say the fire is still seeking “receptive fuels.”

All park roads (including the West Entrance Road) as well as all visitor facilities, both NPS- and concessionaire-operated, are open at this time.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air quality warning for West Yellowstone and the surrounding area, rating the smoke impacts “Unhealthy” to “Very Unhealthy.”

About Sean Reichard

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

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