August 21, 2013 in Featured
Alum Fire: The Alum Fire burned less actively Monday compared to the weekend. Absent was the towering afternoon smoke column which developed both Saturday and Sunday. It grew by about 500 acres and the fire perimeter is now estimated to cover 4,500 acres.
Due to concerns for public safety arising from increased activity on the Alum Fire, a portion of the Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone National Park has been temporarily closed.
A seven and a half mile section of road is closed from Fishing Bridge Junction to the north past Mud Volcano to the Elk Antler Creek pull-out, which is in the south end of Hayden Valley.
During this temporary closure, all travel between Canyon Junction and the Fishing Bridge, Lake Village and Bridge Bay area requires a long detour through Old Faithful.
All other roads in Yellowstone are open, as are all park entrances, lodging, stores, campgrounds and other visitor services.
It is unknown how long this section of the road will be temporarily closed to travel.
Mud Volcano, LeHardy Rapids, and several picnic areas and pullouts, as well as some backcountry trails in the area are temporarily closed.
More firefighting personnel and equipment are arriving daily, with an estimated 150 fire personnel expected to be on hand in Yellowstone by Tuesday evening. Multiple structural and wildland fire engines and portable pumps and hoses are now located in the Lake, Fishing Bridge, and Bridge Bay area.
Fire mangers continue focus on protection of the road corridor, the boardwalk in Mud Volcano, and on structure protection efforts in Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, and Bridge Bay.
While area evacuations are not imminent, preparations are underway to assist residents and visitors in leaving the Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, and Bridge Bay area in the event that an evacuation is necessary in the coming days.
This lightning caused fire was discovered in the backcountry west of Mud Volcano on Wednesday, August 14. (The fire name is pronounced AL-umm, not ah-LUM).
Alder Fire: The Alder Fire burned actively Monday afternoon, moving northward all the way to the north and west shoreline of Yellowstone Lake. It is now estimated to cover 3,000 acres. This fire is on a peninsula at the south end of the lake and is therefore hemmed in by water on three sides and by a recently burned area to the south. All backcountry campsites on The Promontory have been temporarily closed. This lightning caused fire was discovered on August 14.
Druid Fire: This fire grew to the west on Monday, but remains high above the Northeast Entrance road on Druid Peak. It is now estimated at 100 acres and is situated on the north side of the peak. This fire was started by lightning and was discovered on Friday, August 9.
Other Fires: The Passage Fire was discovered Thursday at the south end of Yellowstone Lake. This lightning caused fire remains quiet and is just half an acre in size. A little smoke was again seen on the Snake Fire, located three miles east of the South Entrance along the boundary with the Bridger-Teton National Forest. It remains estimated at 200 acres. At times some of the park fires are visible on the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout Web Cams http://yellowstone.net/webcams
Weather: Some clouds, slightly cooler temperatures and slightly higher afternoon relative humidity are forecast for Yellowstone for Tuesday. There is a slight chance of isolated thunderstorms, mainly to the south and east of the park, which could bring some gusty winds over the fires.
Impacts to visitors and area residents: All roads leading into and through the park and the surrounding forest and all campgrounds, lodging, stores, and visitor services are open. Updated park road information is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.
Additional information: Maps, photos, and update information can be found on the web at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/unit/5382. You can also follow us on Twitter @YellowstoneNPS. The next fire update will be prepared and distributed by Noon Wednesday, August 21.