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Yellowstone Fire Update - September 27, 2011

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avatar Yellowstone Fire Update - September 27, 2011
September 29, 2011 01:47AM
September 27, 2011 - 3:30 p.m.

A new lightning-caused fire was discovered yesterday at 3:00 pm by the Mt. Washburn lookout station, bringing the total number of wildland fires that have burned in Yellowstone National Park to 21 this year.

The 3-acre Headwaters Fire, burning approximately 3 miles west of Shoshone Lake and 6 miles south of Old Faithful, will be suppressed by Yellowstone and Gallatin National Forest crews supported by helicopter bucket work due to its proximity to the Shoshone Lake Trail and the red flag fire danger conditions that are predicted for the next few days.

The fire was likely caused by lightning activity over the park throughout the past two weeks, and is located just ¾ of a mile east of where a lightning strike caused the 6-acre Trischman Fire, which was suppressed and declared controlled on Sept. 14.

Minimal fire activity has been observed on the remaining five fires currently burning in the park that have been managed collectively since August 25 as the Heart Complex. As a result, the complex was dissolved last week so that the Point, Gibbon, Ouzel, Huckleberry and Pitchstone fires could be handled separately by Yellowstone's wildland fire managers. These fires are expected to be declared out only after a significant fire season-ending weather event, such as extended days of rain or snow.

Crews continue to monitor the Point Fire on the eastern shore of Yellowstone Lake and provide protection for the Clear Creek Patrol Cabin. The Thorofare Trail remains closed from the Nine Mile Trailhead to one mile south of the fire area.

With the exception of the Point Fire, which has reached approximately 1,800 acres, and the Gibbon Fire, which has reached 24 acres, the remaining fires were each less than 2 acres. All are being managed to allow natural processes to occur to enhance the area's natural resources, to protect people and property, and to effectively use available firefighting resources.

All park entrances, roads and services are open, and none of these fires pose a threat to park visitors. However, when actively burning, smoke from any of these fires may be visible from park roadways. Visitors are encouraged to be careful with campfires, grills, camp stoves and smoking materials.

Updated information is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2580, or on the web at http://www.inciweb.org/unit/5382/. Information on backcountry access is available at park Visitor Centers or Backcountry Offices.
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