Only one acre of Yellowstone National Park burned this fire season, a marked decline from 2016, which saw the most fire activity since 1988.
According to the Cody Enterprise, there were eight fire-related incidents in Yellowstone, six human-caused and two lightning-sparked. Further, it’s the lowest amount of fires in Yellowstone since 2014, when five fires burnt approximately half-an-acre. From the Cody Enterprise:
After such a busy year in 2016, Park officials did appreciate it when things slowed down for a summer.
“There’s one part from a human standpoint that sees it as a welcome relief,” [Yellowstone Fire and Aviation Management officer John] Cataldo said.
The fire season was low-key throughout Wyoming this year, but there were massive fires in Montana. Yellowstone firefighters reinforced resources in other places.
“We made a lot of folks available in western Montana,” Cataldo said.
Also, Park personnel were deployed to Utah and Colorado for wildfires and sent to Florida to help with hurricane recovery efforts.
Heavy snowfall last winter put off the onset of fire season.
“A heavy snowpack will delay the start of fire seasons,” Cataldo said. “We noticed that this year.”
The Enterprise further reports there were 40 “lightning days” this year, but few of them resulted in sparked trees.
Yellowstone officials previously predicted the park would have an average fire season. The fire danger was moderate to high for most of the summer around Yellowstone, with a brief period of very high fire danger in early September.