Yellowstone National Park Reopens West Thumb Geyser Basin After Closing Due to ‘Hazardous Fumes’

by Shelby Scott
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(Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Yellowstone National Park announced on Friday that West Thumb Geyser Basin had officially been reopened after officials closed the area earlier this month due to “hazardous fumes” and conditions.

According to NBC Montana per a release from Yellowstone National Park officials, structural fire crews determined the West Thumb Geyser Basin, located in the southernmost part of the national park, is safe to access. Based on the park release statement, the basin seems open without restrictions.

When the park’s southernmost region originally closed, Yellowstone stated, “Northwestern Energy staff reported smoke coming out of a small building near the bookstore that houses a solar battery energy storage system at West Thumb Geyser Basin.”

Park structural fire crews responded to the scene after receiving reports about “hazardous conditions” in the southern region of the park. Though they didn’t see any flames upon arrival, there were reports of smoke. First responders eventually determined there was no damage done to the outside of the building.

Structural damage or not, though, the September 12th closure is significant because the actual event took place almost an entire week prior. Even more noteworthy, the park report read, “Battery fumes are corrosive and hazardous when inhaled.” If that’s the case, then why didn’t park officials release information or close the basin immediately after the incident took place?

For now, we have no further information, though at this time, Yellowstone’s West Thumb Geyser Basin is fully open.

Yellowstone National Park Bear Takes on Entire Wolf Pack in Battle for Dinner

Aside from its geysers and hot springs, Yellowstone National Park is also home to a multitude of fascinating animals, including elk, bison, wolves, and bears to name a few. And while the national park spans an impressive 3,000+ square miles across multiple states, competition for food this time of year is fierce, pitting some of the iconic landmark’s most dangerous predators against each other. Footage from about the same time last year captures the moment a lone grizzly bear takes on an entire wolf pack. And the scene is insane.

The confrontation in the clip came as the bear and the wolf pack battled it out over a single elk carcass. The 45-second clip sees the grizzly bear tearing away at the carcass, picking it up and relocating multiple times as the wolves surround the massive hunter and nip and yip to force him into dropping his prey.

As we can see in the video, the wolves have an advantage in numbers, with a dozen or more of the canines working together to claim their next meal from the bear. That said, the bear has an advantage in size, weighing several hundred pounds and boasting the ability to kill one of the wolves with a single, angry swipe of his paw.

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