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Arnica Fire Continues to Burn in Yellowstone National Park As Weather Begins to Turn


Fire and ice -- that's what you get in Yellowstone National Park when below freezing overnight temperatures freeze water being sprayed to protect structures from the flames of the Arnica fire. NPS photos.

A wildfire ignited by a lightning strike continued to burn Tuesday in Yellowstone National Park, though an approaching storm front could provide much-needed moisture to knock it down.

Fire bosses continued to estimate the size of the Arnica Fire at 9,300 acres, the same as Monday's acreage. An approaching low-pressure system was boosting winds in the park Tuesday afternoon, and by nightfall the front was expected to produce scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms until midnight, when dropping temperatures could lead to snow showers, park officials said. Seasonal temperatures that dip below freezing at night have produced an odd setting, with icicles forming on trees and buildings from the spray of sprinklers and hoses while flames lick through the lodgepole forest nearby.

The fire, which was reported September 23, continues to hamper traffic in the park. Burning forest along a nearly two-mile stretch of the Grand Loop Road near Yellowstone Lake has closed a section of road between West Thumb and just south of the Lake developed area. At the same time, road construction has closed the loop road between Madison Junction and Norris. However, visitors could still reach Lake from the north via Tower, and the Old Faithful complex was accessible via the park's South and West entrances.

Two-hundred-thirty firefighters were on the fire lines, with overhead assistance from water-toting helicopters that have been targeting spot fires near the Bridge Bay marina, according to a park release. On the ground, firefighters have been using sprinkler systems, hose lines, and fire engines to protect housing, lodgings, and other structures near the fire.


I hate this, my family & I were just there in August hope it doesnt do to much damage.

As we say over and over again, fire is a natural and beautiful part of the process in Yellowstone. The only thing to hate is the 270-mile detour, and that's not going to last for long, as winter is coming, anyhow.

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World

Thank you, Jim. My wife and I and another couple were caught in that detour on 9/24. It was a long 240 mile drive from Old Faithful and late, late arrival in Gardiner. On the following day, the beauty for us was the extraordinary light from the smoke cloud over the Canyon drive to the east gate. It was surreal and added much to our first visit to the mother park.

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