Visitors to Yellowstone National Park are advised to check with rangers regarding potential trail and campsite closures around a small fire burning near the park’s South Entrance
The Snake Fire was discovered shortly after 4 p.m. Monday, burning along the boundary between the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Yellowstone National Park, approximately three miles east of Yellowstone’s South Entrance.
The area received numerous lightning strikes last Wednesday, and is the likely cause of the fire, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office.
Hot, dry conditions prompted rapid growth Monday afternoon in heavy timber. Morning reconnaissance has produced a more accurate estimate of the fire size at 40 acres, with many small spot fires adjacent to the fire perimeter.
At times a tall smoke column rising above the fire may be seen from locations a very long distance away from the fire. However, all roads leading into and through the parks and the forest and all front country campgrounds, lodging, stores and visitor services are open.
An incident command post is being established at Grant Village to support firefighting efforts. Initial efforts are focusing on putting firefighters in place to protect a backcountry cabin, gathering fuel samples to aid modeling of future fire behavior that will be used to develop firefighting strategy; producing a map of the fire perimeter; posting of trail closures and helping displaced backcountry travelers reroute their trips. A helicopter is being ordered in from the Black Hills of South Dakota to support firefighting operations.
Park officials said the fire poses no threat to visitors or area residents.
Firefighting efforts are being jointly managed by the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park.
Visitors are advised to call 307-344-2117 for updates on closures, or to check the Yellowstone Park website.