Snake Fire starts near south entrance of park; southwest Montana fires smoldering

By Tyler Allen Explore Big Sky Staff Writer

The Snake Fire in Yellowstone National Park, discovered Monday afternoon, Aug. 5, is burning 200 acres as of this morning. The lightning-caused fire is located about three miles east of the park’s South Entrance along the boundary with the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Twenty-five personnel, one helicopter and one wildland engine were assigned to the only reported fire burning in the park. Yellowstone has experienced a slightly less active fire season to date this year, said YNP Spokesman Al Nash. Closures to trails and backcountry campsites, as well as the most recent updates on fire activity can be found at: inciweb.org/incident/3600/.

The 625-acre Emigrant Fire (pictured at left), burning south of Emigrant Peak in Paradise Valley, is 5 percent contained with 30 personnel. On July 29 there were 122 firefighters on the blaze, but without weather conditions amenable to burning operations, many of those personnel were released July 31. Those resources will be ordered back if weather cooperates, said GNF Fire Information and Education Specialist Karen Tuscano.

“The fire’s staying put,” Tuscano said. “[It’s] cleaning up a lot of that dead and down material. We’re okay with that.” The Emigrant Fire is located between Gold Prize Creek and the North Fork of Sixmile Creek and was likely started by lightning on Wednesday, July 17.

The lightning-caused Moose Meadow Fire, 18 miles southwest of Philipsburg, Mont., is primarily in mop-up status. The 3,500-acre wildfire began July 25, is 80 percent contained and there were 93 firefighters on the incident Monday morning. Favorable weather conditions allowed a reduction of personnel from 313 on Aug. 6, while air support was continuing to shuttle firefighters to inaccessible areas of the fire.