Berry Fire, requires closure of south entrance to Yellowstone, September 11

On September 11 the fire spread across Highway 89, closing the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park and forced evacuations at the Flagg Ranch, Grand Teton National Park entrance station, and a Forest Service campground. The highway reopened on September 13.

Berry Fire crossing Highway 89

Above: The Berry Fire crosses Highway 89, September 11, 2016. InciWeb photo. 

(Originally published at 10:59 a.m. MDT September 12, 2016. Updated at 1:50 a.m. MDT September 14, 2016.)

On September 11 winds gusting up to 35 mph on Sunday pushed the Berry Fire which had been relatively quiet for the last week, across Highway 89 for a second time, closing the south entrance into Yellowstone National Park.

The fire ran for about six miles toward the northeast, burning another 6,000 acres, and forced evacuations at the Flagg Ranch, the north entrance station into Grand Teton National Park, and Sheffield Campground on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. An overnight mapping flight determined that the Berry Fire burned very close to the facilities at the Flagg Ranch and appeared to have spread again from the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway into the Bridger-Teton National Forest and then into Yellowstone National Park.

Berry Fire map
The red line was the perimeter of the Berry Fire at 1 a.m. MDT September 12, 2016. The white line was the perimeter on August 29. Credit: Wildfire Today, Google Earth, USFS.

Highway 89 is closed between Leeks Marina junction on the south and Grant Village in Yellowstone NP on the north side.

Since the fire started July 25 it has been managed but not totally suppressed in order to replicate natural conditions which includes periodic fire. It has now burned 20,801 acres.

Much of the western United States Sunday was under a Red Flag Warning due to dry and windy conditions. During the afternoon the Burro Hill weather station southeast of the fire recorded a high temperature of 75 degrees, 10 percent relative humidity, and west to southwest winds of 9 to 15 mph gusting at 23 to 35 mph. The weather will drastically change on Monday and Tuesday with lower temperatures, higher humidity, and a 30 to 60 percent chance of precipitation.

BLM Engine 5645
In August the crew of Las Vegas BLM Engine 5645 assisted with public information at the north entrance to Grand Teton National Park. InciWeb photo.

Articles on Wildfire Today tagged “Berry Fire”.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

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.

3 thoughts on “Berry Fire, requires closure of south entrance to Yellowstone, September 11”

  1. The Huck fire burned over the same area in 1988. We were on the west side of the river behind Flagg Ranch on a helibase and watched it start from a downed power line. A last minute wind change blew it around Flagg Ranch and the Campground. It was a very spectacular, 30-40 mph wind driven, fast moving fire with perhaps mile spotting. Before the road was closed on the south we saw a number of tourists in cars drive up along the fire front as it reached the road and arched over it with falling flaming debris and all. The tourists, many German and Japanese were very excited and told us cars were behind them and we must go rescue them. We said no f***ing way. Over the prior six weeks we had more then our share of close calls.

  2. I wonder how much fire resistance is in the oil and dirt soaked Nomex that the photo shows Engine 5645 crew wearing? Surely more than an accumulation of more than one 14 day assignment.
    Looks to me like crew leaders, line OH and Safety Officers are failing to hold up their responsibilities when they allow such an obvious safety issue to continue.

    1. Actually used Nomex even washed can look like that. Looks to me more like sweat and dirt. Seems like a silly thing to gripe about.


Comments are closed.