It might have been a wet spring, but a couple months without rain has put Yellowstone at high risk for fire. Park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett says about 50 acres of forest ignited this week in an area along the southern shore of Yellowstone Lake known as Promontory Peninsula. Bartlett says, although you can see the smoke, there are no trails or roads in the area, only a couple campgrounds usually accessed by boat.
“The nice thing about this fire is this fire is in a section of 1500 acres of unburned vegetation. But it’s actually surrounded by the 2013 Alder fire and the 1988 Snake Fire,” she says. “So outside that 1500 acres, it’s pretty well cordoned off from any other land by these previous burned areas.”
Bartlett says park officials are monitoring the fire by air and water, but there are no plans to subdue it. She says fire is a natural part of forest health and, when possible, it’s best to let it be.
“Fires are beneficial. It helps burn off the ground cover in any downed trees, opens up the canopy some for new vegetation. Yeah, I mean, fire is just part of the natural evolution for a healthy environment.”
But Bartlett says park visitors should still be especially careful with campfires right now and make sure they are cold to the touch before leaving them. She says, currently, the fire danger for the entire park is high.