Yellowstone Park South Entrance Remains Closed
Grand Teton National Park is keeping the road closed between Leeks Marina and Yellowstone National Park's south entrance because of the rapidly growing Berry Fire, according to a news release from the National Park Service on Thursday.
The North Park Road -- U.S. Highway 89/191/287 -- is not expected to reopen today, and it may remain closed for several more days.
Meanwhile, Flagg Ranch and the Lizard Creek and Headwaters campgrounds remain closed.
Because the south entrance remains closed, visitors to Yellowstone National Park should considering using the open east entrance near Wapiti, Wyo., the northeast entrance near Cooke City, Mont., the north entrance near Gardiner, Mont., or the west entrance near West Yellowstone, Mont.
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 celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in the park will continue, too.
The Berry Fire in Grand Teton National Park affects Yellowstone visitors the most.
It started by lightning 19 miles northwest of Moran on July 25, and has grown to 12,279 acres, or 19.1 square miles, as of Thursday morning, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group's website InciWeb.
Red flag conditions on Monday accelerated the fire, which caused the closure of the North Park Road. However, temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees, coupled with a 40 percent chance of precipitation, should significantly moderate the fire's behavior today and Friday.
Four fires are active in Yellowstone National Park, but they do not pose hassles to the public like the Berry Fire:
- The lightning-caused Maple Fire four miles northeast of West Yellowstone has grown to 30,217 acres, or 47.2 square miles. Fire behavior and spread slowed Wednesday under the cooler conditions, higher relative humidity, cloud cover, and light rain over parts of the fire. Only the northern flank showed moderate growth.
- The lightning-caused Buffalo Fire three miles northeast of Tower Junction has grown to 2,769 acres, or 4.3 square miles. It has moved east of Buffalo Creek, and has grown on its south flank.
- The lightning-caused Fawn Fire about 11 miles west of Mammoth Springs has grown to 1,880 acres, or 2.9 square miles. It grew moderately Wednesday and continues to seek opportunities to grow as it finds receptive fuels. Firefighters remain at the Fawn Pass cabin to provide structure protection and to monitor the fire movement.
- 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.
Drivers should use caution when smoke is present on park roadways. Please use headlights and slow down.