Pollux Fire

Concessionaire Worker Confesses to Starting North Entrance Fire

A seasonal concessionaire employee pled guilty to starting a July 26, 2019 North Entrance fire by dropping a lit cigarette on the ground while sitting at a picnic table, igniting the blaze. 

The Yellowstone north entrance fire broke out at approximately 6 p.m. on Friday, July 26, spreading through the grass and sage between the North Entrance Station and the Gardner River. The fire was contained at approximately four acres, including a half-acre spot fire on the other side of the Gardner River. No buildings were in danger. The North Entrance Road was closed for approximately 90 minutes until the fire was contained.

Personnel from Yellowstone National Park, the town of Gardiner, and Paradise Valley responded.

Curtis J. Faustich appeared today, August 6, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman at the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming. While in court, Faustich pleaded guilty to the charge. Sentencing included three months of incarceration, $5,000 in restitution, two years of unsupervised probation and a prohibition. from entering Yellowstone National Park for two years. His arrest came as a result of a call to the park’s 24-hour Tip Line.

There currently is a moderate risk of fire danger in Yellowstone National Park. (All fire activity can be traced here.) The 7 Mile Hole Fire, located three miles east of Canyon Village, is now reported as being inactive. Meanwhile, a small fire near Sour Creek, caused by lightning, has already burned out and impacted a tenth of an acre. There is only one active fire in Yellowstone National Park as of Aug. 6: The Pollux Fire, first detected on the evening of August 3 from the Mount Washburn fire lookout. While performing an aerial reconnaissance on the morning of August 4, Shoshone National Forest fire staff located the fire in the vicinity of Pollux Peak. Mapped at 29 acres, the remote fire does not pose an immediate threat to established trails, backcountry campsites, or patrol cabins. The fire is under active watch and is shown in the photo at the top of the page.

Smoke from this wildfire may be visible in the areas of Sunlight Basin, Wyoming, and Crandall, Wyoming.

Photo courtesy National Park Service.

RELATED STORIES: Crews Contain Yellowstone North Entrance Fire

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