Berry Fire Forces Closure Of Yellowstone South Entrance Again
The Berry Fire in northern Grand Teton National Park erupted Sunday, again forcing the closure of the South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, according to a park and wildfire news sources.
"The fire made a six-mile run and impacted two 1 ½ mile stretches of the highway, which will require crews to take suppression actions and remove hazard trees for public safety before reopening the road," according to the latest update from InciWeb, the website of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.
Red flag conditions with very low relative humidity and strong winds gusting to 40 mph for more than six hours aggravated the 20,801-acre -- 32.5 square miles -- Berry Fire.
The John D. Rockefeller Highway -- U.S. Highway 89/191/287 -- remains closed between the junction of Leeks Marina on the south side and Grant Village in Yellowstone National Park. The Berry Fire forced the closure of the South Entrance from Aug. 22-30.
Conditions moderated Monday. Cool, damp weather is forecast for the next three days, which will help firefighters.
Four other fires are active in Yellowstone National Park:
- Maple Fire: The lightning-caused fire about 2.9 miles northeast of West Yellowstone began Aug. 8. It has burned over 43,490 acres, or 70 square miles. It grew by 1,090 acres since Sunday. Burnout operations on the west side created a break in fuels between the town of West Yellowstone and the fire, providing protection to communities in the West Yellowstone area for both this and future fires.
- Buffalo Fire: The lightning-caused fire about 3 miles northeast of Tower Junction began Aug. 13. It has burned over 10,839 acres -- 16.9 square miles -- with a significant increase since Sunday. Winds caused the fire to spread a few miles to the north, with active burning in timber, sagebrush and grass. With wetting rains overnight, and snow dusting the ridgetops of the burn area, firefighters are reassessing conditions.
- Central Fire: The lightning-caused fire about 9 miles west of the Lake developed area began Aug. 26. It has burned over 1,398 acres -- 2.2 square miles -- and was active Sunday with smoke visible due to windy conditions.
- Fawn Fire: The lightning-caused fire about 11 miles west of Mammoth Hot Springs began Aug. 4. It has burned over 2,686 acres, or 4.2 square miles. It is unstaffed and not being fought because it does not pose a threat to visitors.
What remains closed:
- The Slough Creek Campground and surrounding area are closed due to the Buffalo Fire. Fishing access to Slough Creek is currently closed.
- The Mary Mountain Trail is closed due to the Central Fire.
- The trailheads of Mount Holmes, Grizzly Lake, Winter Creek, and Trilobite Lake trails are outside the closure area for the fire, but they remain closed because of road construction.
- The Flagg Ranch, Sheffield Campground on the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the South Entrance Gate of Yellowstone National Park were evacuated. Lewis Lake Campground is open with access from the north only.
Meanwhile, charcoal and wood campfires are prohibited in backcountry campsites, but are allowed in campgrounds and picnic areas.