August 2013: Three large fires and a collection of smaller blazes are burning in Yellowstone National Park. The Alum Fire, Alder Fire, and Druid Fire.
The Alum Fire started last week from a lightning strike and as of Tuesday has ripped through roughly 4,500 acres. It’s burning slightly west of the southeast section of the Grand Loop Road north of Yellowstone Lake. Yellowstone officials are especially worried about this fire due to its proximity to facilities along the lake. On Tuesday night, 150 firefighters are expected to be in position to battle the blaze if the fire moves in their direction, reports The Associated Press. The fire has caused Mud Volcano, LeHardy Rapids, picnic areas, road pullouts and backcountry trails in the area to close temporarily.
Discovered on August 14, the Alder Fire is burning on the south end of Yellowstone Lake. It also was started by lightning. The blaze grew larger—it’s up to 3,000 acres as of Tuesday—due to hot temperatures and strong winds, but it’s location on a peninsula bordered on three sides by water and on the fourth side by a recently burned area has led firefighters to focus on the more immediate danger of the Alum Fire. Still, campsites located on The Promontory have been closed temporarily.
The third major fire burning in the Yellowstone vicinity is the Druid Fire, which started on August 9. It’s located in a more remote area on Druid Peak that’s steep and heavily timbered. As of Tuesday, it was estimated to cover 100 acres.
All roads going into and through Yellowstone are open as of Tuesday, as are all campgrounds, lodging, stores and visitor services. Call 307-344-2117 anytime for updated park road information.