Sunday, August 25, 2013

8/25/13, 8:30am: Druid Complex Fire Update

Recorded Fire Information Line (307)344-2580

Overview: Fire activity within the Druid Complex was moderated on Saturday by cloud cover and light rain. Weather conditions allowed fire managers to fly the Alum and Druid Fires to check their progress and observe the fires’ behavior. Heavy cloud cover, however, continues to prohibit infrared mapping. Firefighters continued efforts to scout and create contingency firelines to protect valuable resources and structures in anticipation of the possibility that fires may become more active next week as the weather becomes warmer and drier. The total fire acreage for the complex remains at 11,658 acres.

Scattered thunderstorms are expected in the park on Sunday, with a potential for lightning through Monday. These conditions will likely keep the fires smoldering and creeping on the ground, with flames occasionally torching a tree or small group of trees.

Alum Fire: The Alum Fire (pronounced AL-umm, not ah-LUM) is located in the heart of the park, just west of the section of the Grand Loop Road between Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge. Fire activity was minimal on Saturday; it continues to back slowly downslope through large, dead and down timber towards Grand Loop Road. The portion of the northeastern edge of the fire closest to the road is now 500 yards west of the road, and about 1.5 miles south of Mud Volcano.

Sunday will be the last day that feller bunchers (mechanized tree removal equipment) are used to help create defensible space southeast of the fire and protect valuable resources and structures in the Lake Village government area. This area includes employee homes, both modern and historic structures, and equipment of high importance to daily operations in the park.

The area of trees that are being removed are those which pose the greatest threat to the Lake Village developed area should the fire resume its course in that direction. The last time that standing trees were removed in the park was during hazard tree removal operations for the 2009 Arnica Fire. On Saturday, transportation of trees and other debris began to an area south of Bridge Bay called the Arnica Fire Gravel Pit where they are being stacked. Park officials will determine how to dispose of the debris at a later date.  Park visitors are asked to be cautious on Grand Loop Road for a 20 mile stretch south of the Fishing Bridge turnoff, as large, debris hauling trucks will be entering the road.

Power will remain out in the Bridge Bay area for most of Sunday.  It will be restored by 8 pm or earlier when crews finish the fuel break along the powerline.

Crews are continuing to construct fireline that begins north of Bridge Bay The fireline will link several meadows to the west and north, and will end at an area burned by the Arnica Fire. This line is being prepared in case the fire spreads to the south and threatens the Bridge Bay Marina, Campground and General Store.

Mud Volcano, LeHardy Rapids, and several picnic areas and pullouts, as well as some backcountry trails in the area are temporarily closed.

Druid Fire: The Druid Fire is located high above the Northeast Entrance road on the north side of Druid Peak. Thunderstorms passed directly over the fire on Saturday, causing it to produce less smoke than it has on previous days. It continues to back slowly downslope into the Rose Creek drainage area.

A wildland fire module of four firefighters, will be scouting the area on Sunday to identify potential locations for indirect firelines. These are lines, built well ahead of the fire edge that may be used to hold the fire if it becomes more active and advances east toward the Grand Loop Road and Pebble Creek Campground. In addition, lookouts are positioned at the Lamar Ranger Station to identify actions which might be needed.

A remote camera and Remote Access Weather Station (RAWS) will be flown to the fire Sunday to enable fire managers to take a closer look at the fire’s behavior, particularly in remote areas that are difficult to access.

Alder Fire: This fire is isolated on a peninsula at the south end of Yellowstone Lake and is buffered by water on three sides and a recently burned area to the south. The fire produced a little smoke and show minimal heat, but overall fire activity was minimal.  This will be the last report on this fire unless activity increases.

The Snake and Passage fires are inactive.

Impacts to visitors and area residents: All roads leading into and through the park and all visitor services including campgrounds, lodging, stores and visitor services in the park are open. Impacts from smoke have been minimal and will continue to be as long as the weather is cool. All visitors are encouraged to check for updates often as road closures may be needed based on daily fire activity. Updated park road information is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.

Public Information Officers will be available at the Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge Visitor Centers during the day to help inform visitors about the fires and answer questions. Visitors should also be aware of increased fire traffic in the Fishing Bridge area where a camp is being established for personnel working on the fires.

Additional information can be found on the web at:
Recorded Fire Information Line 307-344-2580
Email us at
Follow us on Twitter @YellowstoneNPS
Find us on Facebook at YellowstoneNPS
View fire photos on Flickr at
Yellowstone National Park Website
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