(Yellowstone) - The lightning-caused Fawn fire, burning in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park since August 5, has grown to an estimated 915 acres as of 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 7.
Crews are actively monitoring the fire by air. Smoke from the fire has been visible throughout the northern portion of the park and in surrounding communities; however, no facilities, trails, or roads are threatened.
How far is the fire from surrounding communities?
- Big Sky, MT; 35 miles southeast
- Gardiner, MT; 13 miles southwest
- Mammoth Hot Springs (near the park’s north entrance); 11 miles west
- West Yellowstone; 16 miles northeast
Saturday, August 6, a thunderstorm passed over the fire area and deposited approximately .17 inches of rain. Sunday has also been cool with additional rain and thunderstorm activity. Total rainfall in the last few days in the fire area has been 0.29 inches. Fire managers expect limited fire growth today due to the weather conditions today.
A change in the weather forecast for Monday calls for warmer and drier conditions. Typically, fire activity picks up in the afternoon as temperatures rise, relative humidity levels drop, and gusty winds increase. Fire activity is expected to increase in the coming days. Visitors and surrounding communities should expect varying levels of smoke through the day and smoke levels to increase during the afternoon.
As a result of this fire activity, the following backcountry trails and campsites are closed until further notice.
- WB1, WB3, WB4 and WB6
- Bighorn Pass trail eastbound at the junction of the cut-off trail to the Fawn Pass Trail.
- Bighorn Pass trail westbound at Bighorn Pass.
- Fawn Pass trail eastbound at the junction of the cut-off trail to the Big Horn Pass Trail.
- Fawn Pass trail westbound at campsite 1F2.
The cut-off trail between Bighorn and Fawn Pass trails is open.
Fire staff will begin to put structure protection around the Fawn Pass cabin today, wrapping the cabin with protective material and setting up a sprinkler system. Due to the lightning produced by the thunderstorms, two 3-person crews are poised to respond to possible new starts in the park.
The fire continues to play its natural role in the ecosystem and crews are managing it for its benefits to the park. The decision on managing each fire in the park is based on a number of factors, including current and predicted conditions, as well as potential values at risk.
There have been nine park fires so far this season; five were lightning-caused, four were human-caused. The Fawn Fire is the only fire now active in the park. The fire danger in Yellowstone National Park is currently “Extreme.”
For up-to-date information on fires burning across the country, go to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov. To learn more about fire management in Yellowstone, visit go.nps.gov/yellfiremanagement.
Feature Photo: Fawn Pass Fire h/t NPS / Pitchengine Communities
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