Yellowstone’s Beach fire bumps last year’s Arnica fire, keeps going

Beach fire Yellowstone National Park
Beach fire, July 20, 2010. We are looking toward the southeast, with Yellowstone Lake near the horizon. Note the Skycrane at the bottom of the picture. NPS Photo by Roy Renkin

The Beach Fire in Yellowstone National Park was discovered Sunday morning, July 18, by an aircraft conducting a research flight. The fire started a couple of miles from Beach Lake and by Monday it had bumped up against the 2009 Arnica fire. But judging from this photo taken today it appears that the new fire is working its way around last year’s fire.

On Monday air tankers and helicopters attacked the fire and the Helena and Lewis and Clark hotshot crews hiked in during the afternoon. The crews will be spiking out near the fire. More crews and a Type 2 Incident Management Team (Secrest) have been ordered. On Monday it had burned 385 acres, but it appeared from the photos and the Mt. Washburn live webcam to have grown significantly today. The Northern Rockies Coordination Center reported at 4:30 p.m. today that it had burned 600 acres.

map Beach fire Yellowstone national park
The Beach fire is shown with a red and white perimeter, adjacent to last year's Arnica fire in goldenrod.

Meanwhile today another fire, named Slough Creek, was discovered in the northeast section of the park. At the last report it was an acre and the Chief Mountain Hotshots who had just arrived at park headquarters for the Beach fire were diverted to it along with two of the helicopters that had been working the Beach fire.

BEACH FIRE UPDATE @ 9 p.m., July 20

The park is now saying the Beach fire is 500 acres and is 20% contained. The Type 2 IMTeam should assume command Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The Chief Mountain Hotshots who were diverted to the Slough Creek fire were reassigned to the Beach fire, which will make a total of six crews on the fire. On Wednesday southwest winds at 10 mph are predicted which, with the 16-22% RH, should make it likely that the fire will move along the northwest side of the Arnica burn.

The Slough Creek fire has been contained.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.