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Friday, December 13, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Pacific NW

Yellowstone open for Labor Day weekend, but campfires banned

Associated Press

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. – All major Yellowstone National Park tourist attractions, entrances and roads are open for the long Labor Day weekend despite four wildfires, but visitors will be prohibited from making campfires and will see smoky haze in some parts of the park, a fire official said Friday.

Bone-dry conditions prompted the ban of charcoal and wood fires, disappointing some people who have called ahead of visiting while planning their trips, said Yellowstone fire spokesman Bill Swartley.

“I’m sure they value this for the aesthetics, for warmth at night, but no open flame of that nature is allowed in the park certainly this Labor Day weekend and until fuel weather conditions change,” Swartley said.

Swartley said the dry conditions are expected to last through Saturday.

Cooler, wet weather is expected on Sunday and could prompt park officials to re-evaluate the campfire ban.

Four wildfires are burning in the park. All the fires were actively burning Friday afternoon as brisk winds swept over the park. The wind did help blow smoke away from most major developed areas, though.

The largest fire has burned about 60 square miles in the park’s western end, north of the West Entrance road. Firefighters are trying to prevent that fire from spreading beyond the park’s western boundary into areas where rural private subdivisions are located.

The Slough Creek Campground on the north side of the park is the only Yellowstone facility closed by the fires.

It is the park’s smallest developed campground, with 23 sites.

The main tourist attraction, Old Faithful, is not affected by any of the fires.

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