Lightning is the suspected cause of a new fire burning along the eastern shore of Yellowstone Lake.

The Brimstone Fire was detected Monday afternoon and is about a half-acre in size within a forested area of fir and spruce trees, according to a Yellowstone National Park news release.

Due to limited fire activity so far, the Thorofare Trail remains open, though the Brimstone Bay campsite 5E4 along the Thorofare Trail has been closed due to the fire until further notice. Hikers can check the current status of the trail by going to

Yellowstone firefighters will monitor the backcountry blaze, which plays an important role in maintaining the health of the ecosystem’s wildlife habitat and vegetation, according to the press notice.

Only three other wildfires are still actively burning in the northwest corner of Wyoming patrolled by Teton Interagency Fire. The blazes are small, natural and remote.

In the Gros Ventre Wilderness the 0.5-acre Flat Creek Fire is still going three weeks after being ignited. In the Teton Wilderness the 2-acre Box Creek Fire has been slowly smoldering for five weeks. In the Bridger Wilderness the 0.1-acre Skull Lake fire hangs on in the patchy conifers up near the Wind River Range’s tree line.

Fire danger is “high” in the greater Jackson Hole area and the Winds and “very high” in the Wyoming and Salt River ranges.

The human-caused Boulder Lake Fire south of Pinedale is 100% contained.

The fire continues to receive strong winds during the afternoon hours, but containment lines are holding, according to a news release. An aspen stand on the south facing slope above Boulder Lake is the only area still burning. Smoke is still visible from the Boulder Lake Estates and Boulder Lake.

“Firefighters are aware of the fire activity and will be monitoring this smoke periodically,” the news release states. “There is no threat to containment lines as the aspen stand is surrounded by solid black with no receptive fuels for the fire to spread to.”

The fire, initially named the Tannerite Fire for a brand of exploding rifle target, was caused by an exploding target, said Brad Purdy, a spokesman for the Wyoming office of the Bureau of Land Management. Exploding targets are prohibited on BLM land where the fire started, he said.

Those shooting the targets reported the fire.

“We do really, really appreciate that this individual, or individuals, did step up and report that fire,” he said. “It’s very important for us to get on these things quickly. That always helps us protect life and property.”

Purdy lauded Sublette County’s quick initial response.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them for 7 years. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please note: Online comments may also run in our print publications.
Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.
No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.
No political attacks. Refrain from using negative slang when identifying political parties.
Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be proactive. Use the “Report” link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.
Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.