Above: Rainbow over the Maple Fire at 9:50 Monday morning, September 5, 2016, as seen from West Yellowstone, MT. Photo by Ray Mines.
Rain on Sunday and Monday accompanied by cool weather has slowed the spread of the Maple Fire that has come within three miles of West Yellowstone, Montana. Since it started on August 8 it has burned 40,443 acres just north of the west entrance road, Highway 20/191.
The small amount of rain on Sunday was followed by about 0.15″ Monday, as recorded at the weather station east of the fire at Madison Junction.
Ray Mines, who took the photo above from the Incident Command Post at West Yellowstone, said it was 34 degrees Monday morning with a wind chill of 28.
Satellites have not been able to find any large heat sources over the fires in the park for the last couple of days. There are no doubt many small ones that the sensors 200 miles overhead can’t detect. But drier weather later in the week will bring the potential for the fire to become more active.
About 200 lightning strikes occurred in the eastern part of Yellowstone Sunday, resulting in at least two new fire starts. The Petrified Fire was near the Petrified Tree west of Tower Junction in a fire suppression zone. Firefighters extinguished the single-tree fire with the help of helicopter water drops. Firefighters are monitoring the one-tenth acre Jasper Fire east of Tower Junction near Specimen Ridge.