From Staff Reports
Several days of dry weather have prompted officials to elevate the fire danger in Yellowstone National Park to extreme, the highest possible level. Fire restrictions are in effect, and campfires are allowed only in established fire grates or fire rings in picnic areas or campgrounds.
Two fires in the central portion of the Yellowstone have become more active, and smoke may be visible from areas along the Grand Loop Road from Norris to Canyon Village and south to Fishing Bridge.
Aside from a few trail segments and some backcountry campsite closures associated with the fires, all park entrances, roads, campgrounds, lodging, stores and other visitor services are open.
The lightning-sparked Cygnet Fire was discovered Aug. 10, about 5 miles southeast of Norris Junction. Its size estimated at 87 acres. Two 20-person firefighting crews are working to prepare a utility corridor south of the Norris to Canyon road in case the fire reaches that area, and they will continue to monitor the fire. As a precaution, the Cygnet Lakes Trail is closed temporarily. Smoke may become visible from several areas throughout the park.
The Dewdrop Fire, also caused by lightning, was discovered July 27 burning in the backcountry nine miles southeast of Canyon. It now covers approximately 63 acres. As a precaution, an area around the fire including some backcountry campsites and trail segments are temporarily closed.
A third lightning-caused blaze, the Agate Fire was discovered Aug. 7 in the backcountry southeast of Tower Junction, on the east side of the Yellowstone River. It has shown little recent activity, and is still estimated at less than an acre. Backcountry campsite 2Y1 is temporarily closed due to the fire.
Firefighters are also continuing to monitor the Range, Camera, and Dewdrop 2 fires. All have shown little recent activity and all are less than one acre.
While Yellowstone fires may produce a smoke column visible from some roads or trails, most of the smoke present in the region is due to fires burning south and west of Yellowstone, and not from the small fires in the park.
In addition to restricting campfires only to established fire grates or fire rings in picnic areas or campgrounds, the use of portable charcoal grills is also prohibited in Yellowstone under current fire restrictions.
Any fire which can produce an ash is prohibited in the backcountry. Campers may use portable stoves and lanterns which burn propane, white gas, kerosene, or jellied petroleum anywhere in the park. Smoking is prohibited along all trails and anywhere in the backcountry. Smoking is allowed in vehicles and along roads, near buildings, and in developed campgrounds or picnic areas if you are standing in an area at least three feet in diameter where nothing on the ground will burn.
For details on backcountry and trail closures, call 307-344-2160. Additional information on is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2580, on the web or on Twitter @YellowstoneNPS.