Fire growth was milder than expected as cooler weather is projected for the rest of the weekend in Yellowstone National Park.
According to a Yellowstone press release, today’s forecast calls for showers later tonight, followed by cooler, wet weather Sunday and Monday. Crews say activity on the fire’s perimeter will be slight, although islands of unburned fuel within the fires are expected to burn. All four fires grew less than expected since our last report.
New fire information signs have been posted at the Albright Visitor Center in Mammoth Hot Springs, near the Slough Creek Campground, the Canyon Village Education Center, the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center, along the West Entrance and Madison Junction, and at Norris Geyser Basin. Fire information personnel are on hand at each site to answer questions about the fires.
As of writing, Maple Fire has grown to 39,420 acres. Friday, crews conducted burnout operations on nearly 600 acres south of Cougar Creek toward the Transfer Station. The operations will reinforce the control line between Gneiss Creek and the Campanula Creek area.
Firefighters continue to work along the West Entrance Road—expect slight delays.
Buffalo Fire currently measures 7,422 acres, with most of the activity coming on the east side. It is moving northwest along Anderson Ridge. The Buffalo Fire has crossed Slough Creek, though ground crews say they hope to keep it from crossing the Slough Creek Trail. Helicopters are providing water drops and air support.
Fawn Fire, meanwhile, measures 2,566 acres. Crews say the fire showed very little growth throughout the day. However, Fawn Fire is kicking off large columns of smoke from its north and south flanks, as the fire burns through dead and downed timber. The northeast edge is expected to be very active, as Fawn approaches mature timber.
Finally, Central Fire only measures 1,350 acres; strong winds have kept smoke low to the ground.
Air conditions have improved around Yellowstone, especially in West Yellowstone. According to the Yellowstone press release, light smoke may persist through the night, creating “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” air quality tomorrow morning. Smoke will be thicker around Duck Creek. Mammoth Hot Springs and Madison Junction may see hazy conditions and experience “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” air quality before it dissipates overnight.
Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are still in place for Yellowstone National Park. All park roads and visitor facilities, both NPS- and concessionaire-operate, are open at this time.