Containment target of Friday for Yellowstone fire
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – Firefighters said Monday it probably will take most of this week to contain a 2,800-acre wildfire in Yellowstone National Park that has closed the park’s east entrance for the past nine days.
The blaze was still just a half-mile from employee housing and other buildings on Monday, but it did not grow over the weekend.
”Although we had some torching, some trees burning, flaring up inside the fire line, we don’t believe we had any advancement of the fire (Monday),” spokesman Brian Morris said.
”Things are still going well,” he said. ”Relative humidities were low, fuel moisture was low. We did not have any winds.”
Spot fires caused by blown embers have been minimal, according to fire information officer Kim Smith. The fire was listed as 30 percent contained, with firefighters shooting for full containment Friday.
”Of course that’s all subject to change if the weather turns against us,” Smith said.
The forecast was for more hot and dry weather.
Firefighters have set up sprinkler systems and cleared away brush around buildings at the east entrance in case the fire turns for the worse. The sprinklers were kept running so the wooden buildings can soak up water, Smith said.
Joining tanker planes, 13 helicopters and 22 engines on the fire were 769 ground firefighters. Nearly a hundred firefighters camped near the fire Sunday night to save the time of traveling between the fire and base camp, near Fishing Bridge on the north end of Yellowstone Lake.
To date, the effort has cost $3.1 million.
”It’s a big air show, so a lot of that cost is in the air operation,” Smith said.
Except for the east entrance, Yellowstone remains fully open. There are four other entrances in Wyoming and Montana.
Elsewhere, firefighters expected to completely contain two wildfires in the Black Hills on the Wyoming-South Dakota border Monday. The fires have charred about 34 square miles.
On the Net:
Yellowstone fire: http://www.nps.gov/yell/technical/fire/Fires/firemap.htm
National Interagency Fire Center: http://www.nifc.gov
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