Aug 25, 2015

New, small wildfire burning in Yellowstone's backcountry

Recent smoke that clouded Yellowstone National Park came from fires many miles to the west, but the park now has a small wildfire of its own.

The 5L4 Fire, started by lightning, is burning in a remote area at the southern end of Yellowstone Lake.

This new fire is burning at the remote, southern end of Yellowstone Lake. Photo courtesy Yellowstone Natoinal Park
The fire was estimated at three to five acres as of Tuesday, the park service said. It's located on the Promontory Peninsula in a roughly 1,500 acre area between spots that burned in 2013 (the Alder Fire) and 1988 (the Snake Fire).

"While the fire is visible and growing actively through torching and spotting, it is not threatening any roads or structures," the park service said in a Tuesday release. "It is anticipated that the fire will naturally confine itself to this area of the peninsula and will be monitored by park fire crews and allowed to play its natural role in the ecosystem."

Three backcountry campsites in the area fire namesake 5L4, 5L3 and 6A1 have been temporarily closed because of the fire.

The weather service says Tuesday should bring elevated fire danger across Yellowstone and the Cody area, with relatively dry, unstable conditions and possible thunderstorms.

To date, 2015 has been a quiet year for fires in both Yellowstone and the neighboring Shoshone National Forest.

(This post was updated with new information on Tuesday.)

A very rough approximation of the location of the 5L4 Fire.


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