Arnica fire in Yellowstone temporarily closes Grand Loop road again

This updated map of the Arnica fire shows heat detected by satellites at 3:40 a.m. MT Sept. 27. The red areas contain heat that was detected within the previous 12 hours. Several fires from previous years are also shown. GEOMAC

Pushed by a strong west wind the Arnica fire in Yellowstone National Park again forced the closure of one of the main roads in the park Saturday afternoon. The Grand Loop road between West Thumb and the junction at Fishing Bridge (near Lake) was closed for 2 hours making it impossible to travel between the north end of the park and the south end since Highway 20 between Norris and Madison junction (northwest of the Magpie fire on the map above) is closed for construction.

Judging from the map the fire spread approximately two to three miles to the east on Saturday. In a news release issued at 4 p.m. on Saturday the Park said the fire size is estimated at 1,600 acres. The fire’s InciWeb page has not been updated since about 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Arnica fire, via Mt. Washburn web cam, at 10:12 a.m. Sept. 27. The camera is looking south.

The fire can be monitored through the web cam on Mt. Washburn lookout which updates every 60 seconds. Since the fire has spread to the east, it appears the person working at the lookout needs to pan to the left to keep up with the fire.

The weather on Sunday will again be conducive to significant fire growth, with WNW winds predicted at 15-17 mph with gusts up to 26, a minimum humidity of 20%, temperature of 55, and no cloud cover. On Monday it will be about 10 degrees warmer with SW winds at 14-17. The Tuesday forecast predicts strong winds as a storm comes in with 21 mph southwest winds gusting to 34, but with a good chance of rain by evening and about 4 inches of snow likely on Wednesday.

Weather forecast for the Arnica fire area, 44.5N 110.49W (Elev. 8380 ft.) NOAA

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