YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – The fire danger level in Yellowstone National Park is back up to “High.”
Park officials say continued warm, dry weather has returned to the park and is driving up the likelihood of wildfires. In spite of the rising fire danger, there are no fire restrictions in the park beyond the normal fire limitations.
On an everyday basis, fires are only permitted in fire rings in campgrounds and at some backcountry campsites. All fires must be cold to the touch before a site is abandoned. The process for ensuring a fire is out is to soak it in water, stir the fire, then repeat the soaking.
So far this year, Yellowstone has been remarkably free of wildfires. Not counting the Bacon Rind fire, which is burning partially inside the northwest corner of the park, Yellowstone has registered just 19.7 acres burned by six wildfires to date. Four of those fires are out while two others smolder on, but are not threatening. All the fires were started by lightning strikes.
The 2,060-acre Bacon Rind fire is currently still burning at a low level. About half of the fire is within park boundaries and half in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. As of September 3rd, the crew monitoring that fire downsized to a local Type 4 Incident Command.
Speed limits on highway 191 through the park had been reduced to 45 mph due to smoke from the fire but have returned to the normal 55 mph limit.
Officials say the smaller crew will continue to monitor the fire.