5 Acre Wildfire Burning in Yellowstone National Park: PHOTOS

by Jon D. B.
5-acre-wildfire-burning-yellowstone-national-park-photos
The Big Horn Fire, a remote wildfire located in steep, rocky terrain in the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park. (Photo credit: NPS / Doug Kraus)

Yellowstone National Park‘s Big Horn Fire is currently burning in “very steep, rugged and rocky terrain in the remote northwest corner of the park,” the National Park Service cites.

Estimated to be burning at around 5 acres on September 27, 2022, smoke from the wildfire was first spotted on that same date. At the time, individuals in Montana’s Tom Miner Basin, located just north of Yellowstone National Park’s northwest boundary), reported seeing smoke rising from the park.

The park’s helicopter crew reacted swiftly, flying the area Tuesday evening. As they did, YELL officials spotted a new wildfire causing the smoke.

According to the park’s media release to Outsider, the fire, now known as Big Horn Fire, was “likely ignited by lightning” several days prior. Smoke continues to billow up from the incredibly steep, rugged, rocky terrain in the park’s northwest corner:

The Big Horn Fire, a remote wildfire located in steep, rocky terrain in the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park. (Photo credit: NPS / Doug Kraus)

Currently, Yellowstone National Park fire crews continue to monitor the wildfire from Tom Miner Basin. Additional air monitoring is also in effect. Thankfully, “the potential for it to leave the park is very low,” officials cite.

Mainly, park officials expect little growth due to forecasted snow and rain over the next 10 days. Incoming precipitation “will likely significantly slow its growth,” the park continues.

In addition, Yellowstone believes “a weather pattern such as the one expected could also be a fire season ending event.” And an early end to fire season is always incredibly welcome.

The Big Horn Fire, a remote wildfire located in steep, rocky terrain in the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park. (Photo credit: NPS / Jess Page)

Regardless, Yellowstone National Park is closing backcountry campsite WE4 for the rest of the season due to its proximity to Big Horn Fire. For more information, visit the park’s Backcountry Situation Report.

And as always, please stay informed of Yellowstone fire activity before visiting any area of the park during wildfire season.

Big Horn Fire Ignites in Yellowstone National Park Same Day as Fire Danger Level Drops from VERY HIGH to HIGH

The park’s latest wildfire and its likely lightning origins illustrate how unpredictable wildfires are.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sept. 27, the national park lowered its parkwide fire danger level from VERY HIGH to HIGH. Mere hours later, smoke was detected on the northwest border in the park’s Montana area, and the Big Horn Fire was named at 5 acres.

The park’s fire danger announcement would even state that “Currently, there are no active wildland fires in the park.” This, of course, would soon change. But the lowering of the danger level would not, which remains at HIGH. Under this level, the following are in effect within Yellowstone National Park:

  • Currently, there are no fire restrictions in place or planned in the park
  • Campfires are only permitted within established fire rings in campgrounds and some backcountry campsites
  • Campfires must always be attended and cold to the touch before abandoning
    • Remember: Soak, stir, feel, repeat.

And as always, Outsider will keep you up to date on the Greater Yellowstone Area, which is a fire-adapted ecosystem. Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of this area’s wildlife habitat and vegetation.

For more on the park’s current status, see our Yellowstone National Park Scrambles To Reopen Roads by Deadline After Severe Flooding next.

Outsider.com