Yellowstone thermal accident

Smoke from the Lone Star Fire,

ignited this weekend by lightning in Yellowstone National Park, has closed the Grand Loop Road to traffic.

The fire was reported around 5:15 p.m. Saturday about 3 miles south of Old Faithful geyser. It’s estimated at 300 acres and at this time is not burning directly toward the complex of buildings at Old Faithful.

Park Service staffers are implementing protection measures for the Old Faithful area in case the fire moves that way, and resources have been ordered, according to a release sent Sunday morning by the park’s public communications department.

The Grand Loop Road is closed between Kepler Cascades and West Thumb. The Lone Star Geyser trail is closed as well, along with backcountry campsites OA1, OA2 and OA3. The road between Canyon and Tower Junction is also closed this season.

Lightning has been prevalent throughout the park this week, and fire danger is very high. Campfires are not allowed in the backcountry.

Across the region, fire danger is elevated and fire restrictions have been put into place. On the Bridger-Teton National Forest, fires are only allowed in developed campgrounds and picnic areas. In Grand Teton National Park, fires are limited to designated, installed fire rings or grills.

In Sublette County and on area Bureau of Land Management property, all outdoor fires are prohibited except campfires within established developed rings, charcoal grills and trash or refuse fires within containers with spark arresters. Fireworks and explosives are also banned on area BLM lands.

Weather can cause fires to whip out of control and spread quickly. The National Weather Service issued multiple “red flag warnings” last week, with hot temperatures, low humidity, gusty winds and lightning.

Those out cutting and gathering firewood are reminded to exercise caution with equipment and be prepared with a fire extinguisher and shovel.

Further updates on Yellowstone’s fire were unavailable to the Jackson Hole Daily by press time Sunday evening. For the most up-to-date information, go to NPS.gov/yell or JHNewsAndGuide.com, or download the Hole Scroll application on your mobile phone.

Contact Johanna Love at 732-7071 or jlove@jhnewsandguide.com.

Johanna Love steers the newsroom as editor. Her time off is occupied by kid, dog, biking, camping and art. She loves to hear from readers with story tips, kudos, criticism and questions.

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