A new fire was discovered Thursday morning northeast of Heart Lake in the south central portion of Yellowstone National Park. The Heart Fire is just a tenth of an acre. It is about a mile from a patrol cabin. The two backcountry campsites and trails in the area remain open. The other active fire in the park is the Gibbon Fire, located in the backcountry 3 miles east of Madison Junction. It remains estimated at 6 acres. There have been 10 fires in Yellowstone this season.
Most of the smoke area visitors see and smell is not from any of these small fires; rather is from larger fires burning to the northwest outside of the Park.
Yellowstone National Park is part of a larger fire adapted ecosystem. Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of the area’s wildlife habitat and vegetation.
Most fires occurring in the area are caused by lightning. These fires are managed to protect people and property, enhance the area’s natural resources where appropriate, allow natural processes to occur, and safely and effectively use available firefighting resources. Yellowstone National Park authorities do work to suppress all human-caused fires, focusing on reducing the risk to firefighters, the public and property.
Visitors are encouraged to be careful with campfires, smoking materials, and when operating any equipment with an open flame, which could create a spark, or which can generate heat like a vehicle muffler.
Updated information on fire conditions and any fire restrictions are available at area visitor centers and ranger stations and on the web at http://www.nps.gov/yell.