Lightning Sparks Fire In Yellowstone National Park

courtesy Yellowstone National Park

By Staff 8-25,2015

Lightning from recent thunderstorms has started a fire on the Promontory Peninsula between the south and southeast arms of Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park. Named for a nearby backcountry campsite, the 5L4 fire was reported on Monday, August 24, by park staff.

The 5L4 fire is currently estimated to be between three and five acres and is located within a 1500 acre section of unburned vegetation between the 2013 Alder fire and the 1988 Snake fire. While the fire is visible and growing actively through torching and spotting, it is not threatening any roads or structures. It is anticipated that the fire will naturally confine itself to this area of the peninsula and will be monitored by park fire crews and allowed to play its natural role in the ecosystem.  Due to the fire activity, backcountry campsites 5L3, 5L4, and 6A1 have been closed until further notice.

The fire danger in Yellowstone National Park is currently “High”. There are no fire restrictions in place, however, campfires are only allowed in designated grills in park campgrounds, some picnic areas, and specific backcountry campsites. The National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group, which consists of top federal and state fire managers, raised the National Fire Preparedness Level to 5, the highest level possible, on August 13. The raised preparedness level reflects a high degree of wildfire activity, a major commitment of fire resources, and the probability that severe conditions will continue for at least a few days. There are currently 66 large fires or complexes of fires, burning in 11 states across the west.