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Yellowstone South Entrance Opens; Agencies Urge Caution While Driving

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group
The southern edge of the Maple Fire has been moving toward the West Entrance Road and Madison River.     The National Wildfire Coordinating Group

The south entrance to Yellowstone National Park was reopened this morning after being closed for a week, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s website InciWeb.

The North Park Road — U.S. Highway 89/191/287 — was closed because of the lightning-caused Berry Fire that started in Grand Teton National Park on July 25 and has grown to 13,177 acres or 20.6 square miles.

Agencies fighting the fire urge motorists to drive carefully from the Leeks Marina to the south entrance.

The highway pullouts remain closed. Firefighting traffic will continue to use the road, the parking pullouts and Flagg Ranch as parking areas and supply staging zones.

All other roads within Yellowstone National Park remain open. Park services and businesses in surrounding communities are not affected by the fires and remain open.

The fire has spread west of Jackson Lake, north of Dave Adams Hill. It is spreading south of Webb Canyon backing and flanking south towards Colder Canyon.

Besides the Berry Fire, five other fires are active in Yellowstone National Park:

  • The most recently reported fire is the lightning-caused Central Fire, which started Friday. It has grown to 886 acres, or 1.4 square miles. It is nine miles west of the Lake developed area and two miles south of Hayden Valley. It is off the northwest corner of the 2015 Spruce fire, which is expected to block its growth to the east. It will be managed as part of the Tatanka Complex — Fawn and Buffalo Fires — using a monitoring and point protection strategy.
  • The lightning-caused Maple Fire four miles northeast of West Yellowstone grew to 33,058 acres, or 51.7 square miles as of Monday night. It grew about about 1,650 acres on Monday and is about 3.8 miles from West Yellowstone. It has approached the road in the area of the 7 Mile Bridge and is visible from the road. Traffic control may be implemented if heavy smoke is present on the road.
  • The lightning-caused Buffalo Fire three miles northeast of Tower Junction has grown to 4,008 acres, or 6.3 square miles as of this morning. It continues to move northeast.
  • The lightning-caused Fawn Fire about 11 miles west of Mammoth Springs has grown to 2,016 acres, or 3.2 square miles. It has forced the closure of four campsites and four trails.
  • The human-caused Boundary Fire four miles north of West Yellowstone has grown to 192 acres. It is 90 percent contained. No future growth is expected.

Adverse and unstable weather conditions could affect all these fires.
Drivers should use caution when smoke is present on park roadways. Please use headlights and slow down.

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