A new wildfire has started in Yellowstone National Park but officials report no issues with any of the fires burning in the park.
Storms on Thursday brought rain to the Alum (AL'-um) Fire burning about 5 miles northwest of Fishing Bridge Junction. However, the storms also were accompanied by lightning that started at least one new fire about a mile away.
The National Park Service says more than 700 lightning strikes occurred in the park Thursday afternoon so additional fire starts are expected. Dry, warmer weather also is expected this weekend.
There are three fires burning across Wyoming today. Near Sinks Canyon in Freemont County, in The Hard Luck area of the Washakie Wilderness and in the western Battle Creek area of area of Medicine Bow national forest. The fire near Hard Luck was discovered by reconnaissance planes on Saturday and the most recent fire, burning near Battle Creek picked up Monday.
Wyoming forest officials anticipate another heavy fire season for this year.
Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser says recent warm winters have been great for the pine beetle population. He adds that Wyoming pine forests are full of densely-packed stands with trees of the same age, which makes them especially vulnerable to beetles, and that makes them more likely to burn.
We’re joined now by Tom Ryder with the Game and Fish Department. He’s here to talk about the how wildlife are affected by the wildfires that have burned this season. He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden that, when fires break out, some animals tend to suffer, while others actually benefit in the long run.
A wildfire near Wheatland in the Medicine Bow National Forest has grown to around a thousand acres. High winds and terrain in the area have hampered firefighters in their efforts to contain it and they can’t come face to face with the blaze. Because of this Forest Service Spokesman Aaron Voos said they are taking a different approach in dealing with it.