October 1, 2009 in City

Snow dampens Yellowstone fire

Associated Press
 

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. – Fire crews packed up and left Yellowstone National Park on Wednesday as snow dampened a wildfire that kept them busy for several days.

Rain and snow started falling on the Arnica fire early Wednesday morning, fire information officer Tom Kempton said.

“With rain and snow comes rapidly dropping temperatures and rapidly dropping fire activity,” Kempton said.

The fire isn’t extinguished just yet and will continue to smolder in some areas with stumps and other heavy fuel sources, he said.

The fire near Yellowstone Lake started with a lightning strike on Sept. 13. It more than quadrupled in size last weekend and expanded to 10,700 acres, or 16.7 square miles, by Tuesday night. There were no evacuations or buildings burned.

Kempton said firefighters removed protective sprinklers and hoses from around buildings at Lake Village and the West Thumb Marina areas.

A section of Grand Loop Road remained closed between Lake Village and West Thumb because burned trees had fallen on the road. Kempton said the park will bring in heavy equipment to clear out fallen trees.

The National Park Service had 230 firefighters, 15 engines and five helicopters battling the fire early this week. Officials kept a 20-man crew, as well as the park’s regular firefighters, on site to keep an eye on the fire’s smoldering remains, Kempton said.

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