YNP fire kicks-up, but quenched by rain

Posted 8/24/10

Reported at 75 acres Thursday, the fire expanded to 218 acres over the weekend. But on Sunday night and Monday morning, nearly one-third of an inch of precipitation was reported.

“We had a lot of rain last night,” said Bob MacGregor, …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

YNP fire kicks-up, but quenched by rain


Although the Arthur 2 Fire in eastern Yellowstone National Park kicked-up recently, precipitation Sunday hampered the fire's growth, leaving fire managers guardedly optimistic it will not spread.The fire is one and one-half miles southwest of the East Entrance and on the south side of the Middle Fork of the Shoshone River. The fire has caused no closures.

Reported at 75 acres Thursday, the fire expanded to 218 acres over the weekend. But on Sunday night and Monday morning, nearly one-third of an inch of precipitation was reported.

“We had a lot of rain last night,” said Bob MacGregor, Arthur 2 fire information officer, on Monday morning.

Fire operations walked the fire Sunday evening and do not believe it will expand, at least under the current weather conditions, MacGregor said.

The fire is burning old snags from the 2001 Arthur 1 Fire, MacGregor said.

“It is all within the park,” MacGregor said.

Shoshone National Forest personnel have been attending fire briefings, MacGregor said.

The fire is hitting understory — grass and forbs, said Clint Dawson, zone fire manager for Shoshone Forest.

Sixty firefighters have been on site, camping at the Boy Scouts of America camp on the North Fork.

“I think right now, we're ramping down,” MacGregor said.

A helicopter has been monitoring the fire, but managers were discussing its release Monday afternoon, MacGregor said. Many of the other resources assigned to the fire were released Monday.

The Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team was completing a long term plan for managing the fire.

The fire was ignited by lightning so it falls under the park's resource management plan to allow the fire to run its course if it does not threaten lives or structures.

Personnel are standing by and watching the structures around the east gate and the Shoshone, Dawson said.

“But there has been no action on the fire,” Dawson added. “Just letting it burn.”

Forest's fuel reduction projects over the last few years on the North Fork have eased concerns, MacGregor said.

Today's (Tuesday) forecast called for temperatures in the 70s with relatively high humidity. By Wednesday, the forecast called for warmer temperatures in the area and thunderstorms were expected Thursday, MacGregor said.

Storms passing through the area nearly two weeks ago are thought to be what ignited Arthur 2, according to the National Park Service.

Dawson said Arthur 2 will likely continue to smolder.

Smoky sky in Cody

Several other small fires are burning in the northwest corner of Wyoming.

The murky cast to the hills surrounding Cody on Friday were attributed to the Bull Fire outside Jackson, said Todd Baker, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Riverton.

Baker said it should remain clear for the next few days unless fire personnel employ burn-outs to create fire barriers to impede the spread of the burning blazes.

Winds are predicted to increase on Friday and into the weekend, so there is the potential for increased fire activity around the state, Baker said.

Bull Fire

The lightning-caused Bull Fire in Gros Ventre Wilderness Area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest had grown to 3,047 acres as of Sunday.

The fire, burning in conifer, sagebrush and grass, just east of Jackson, was first reported July 21.

As of Aug. 22, 130 personnel were working the fire. The degree of containment was not specified on InciWeb, a fire information website.

Granite Creek Road is closed to dispersed camping, west of Highline trail, said a release from the Bridger-Teton Forest.

The closure has been extended into the Bear Creek drainage and the north and west slopes of Granite Creek up to and including the Highline trail.

Dispersed camping is closed along the Granite Creek Road from U.S. 189 to the Highline trail. Also included are the Little Granite Road and Boulder Creek drainage, the Cow Creek, Bull Creek and Rough Hollow drainage. Visitors along the Granite Road may be delayed or escorted via pilot car if firing operations continue over the next couple days.

North Fork Fire

The human-caused North Fork Fire, west of Lander, was listed at 350 acres Sunday, according to InciWeb.

The fire on the North Fork of Popo Agie River, burning in mixed conifers, was 65 percent contained.

Its date of origin was Aug. 18.

There were 211 personnel working the fire Sunday.

Trail and road closures Sunday included Shoshone Trail, North Fork Trail, Mount Arter, Cony Basin, Cyclone Pass and Shoshone Basin Road.

Beach Fire

The Beach Fire remains at 520 acres and is 95 percent contained.

The origin of the fire, reported July 18, remains under investigation. It is southwest of Bridge Bay campground in Yellowstone's back country.