Route To Yellowstone Reopens, But Fire Danger Remains High

Aug 30, 2016

An air tanker fights the Maple Fire in Yellowstone National Park.
Credit Inciweb

Northwest Wyoming continues to struggle with high fire danger as eleven wild fires currently burn in that part of the state.

Bill Swartley, a public information officer for the Yellowstone fire team, said Phase 2 fire restrictions will likely go into effect in Yellowstone National Park on Wednesday. That means any kind of open flame may be banned in the park.

Swartley said preventing any human caused fires is their top priority.

“These fires are lightning caused and for that reason are being managed for ecological benefits to the park,” said Swartley. “However, human caused fires are a total different type of ignition.”

With temperatures reaching into the 80s and low relative humidity, weather conditions are prime for even more fire growth. 

Some progress has been made, though. Highway 191/89/287 between Leek’s Marina and Yellowstone’s South Entrance was closed because of the Berry Fire but has now reopened. Highway pull outs along that stretch remain closed.

Swartley said there may be areas of light haze or smoke in the park that could make it hard to see.

“We’re just recommending people adjust their speed and turn on their headlights, increase their visibility as they pass through those areas of smoke,” said Swartley.

He added that people with respiratory sensitivity may want to check air quality at before heading into the park.