The Bacon Rind Fire continues to burn in Lee Metcalf Wilderness and Yellowstone National park between Big Sky and West Yellowstone has grown to 1,838 acres.
Fire personnel continues to keep the blaze away from Highway 191, but no buildings in the area are threatened.
“It’s not a threat to people, private property or structures in the area,” said Jeff Gildehaus an Outdoor Recreation Planner with the Custer Gallatin National Forest. “It’s a lightning-caused fire and that natural process is going to continue. It’ll be weather that puts this fire out more than us.”
Firefighters are using water drops from a helicopter to tame the fire.
“A helicopter is dipping water out of the Gallatin River here in Yellowstone National Park, they have a pump set up with what we call a pumpkin that the helicopter can dip a bucket into to collect water,” Gildehaus added.
Travelers can see flames from Highway 191 and many of the trailheads and roads in the area are closed.
“We also have equipment and personnel that are using some of the other pullouts and that’s why they’re cordoned off so we have a place to park our engines and for people to work from,” Gildehaus said.
Highway 191 remains open, however heavy smoke from the fire may cause delays
“With the reduced visibilities and the smoke in the area, signs are posted to reduce your speed,” Gildehaus said. “It would be a good idea to drop it down to 45 MPH and when we have pilot car assistance that’s around 35 and you could be held up for maybe 10 minutes.”
The National Park and Forest Service see the Bacon Rind Fire as an ecological benefit.
“The Park Service and Nation Forest work together to find out what is the game plan for this fire, and all those things came together,” said Scott Babinowich, Fire Information Officer, National Park Service. “They said this is an amazing fire, that we have the opportunity to manage for the ecological benefit to get fire back into a part of the ecosystem that hasn’t seen it in a very long time.”
Despite much of the fire burning in Yellowstone, all of the park remains open to visitors.