The Lone Star Fire burning in Yellowstone National Park has now reached up to five square miles. The lightning-caused fire started about three miles south of Old Faithful and has now burned 3,346 acres.

In spite of the recent weather front that brought cold and wet conditions to Yellowstone, the fire has grown in size. The hard frosts killed grasses and other plants overnight, and as this dead vegetation begins to dry out, it will only add fuel to the fire. Because of this, officials expect the fire to continue to grow, according to a press release from the Associated Press.

Staff and firefighters are working to protect the Old Faithful area in the event the fire moves in that direction. They are also continuing to work on cutting down trees and thick vegetation in the area in order to protect historic buildings, power lines, and communication equipment.

Closures:

  • Trail and campsite closures around Shoshone Lake and Lone Star Geyser are in effect.
  • Trailheads and picnic areas on the Grand Loop Road between Old Faithful and West Thumb Junction are closed.

The Old Faithful area is open and Grand Loop Road opened at the end of August, but the tailheads and areas around the road remain closed.

The fire, which started on August 22nd, has over 50 people currently battling it.  It is projected to be contained by October 30th. The fire is active in a mature area of unburned forest of spruce, fir, and lodgepole pine.

Bridger Foothills Fire Pictures