Yellowstone Fire Danger Lowers To High As Winter Approaches

Yellowstone Fire Danger Lowers To “High” As Winter Approaches

Written by on September 27, 2022

Yellowstone National Park’s fire danger begins its slow descent as the promise of cold weather and winter snow gets closer, and the end of the 2022 summer season is imminent.

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Yellowstone National Park’s parkwide fire danger level dropped from Very High to High. It’s the beginning of the end of the summer season – an annual if unofficial sign that winter is just around the corner.

According to the U.S. Forest Service’s Wildfire Assessment System, “a Fire Danger Rating level (factors in) current and antecedent weather, fuel types, and both live and dead fuel moisture.” Yellowstone’s fire danger has been High since July 20. The level was elevated to Very High on Sept. 6.

Courtesy National Park Service

There have been three wildfires reported in Yellowstone this summer. All three fires were less than an acre in size and quickly extinguished.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 9, there are no active wildland fires in the park. But it’s not too late in the season for a fire to start and grow significant.

Despite the higher risk of fires, there haven’t been any fire restrictions in the park for the duration of the summer season. Campfires are, as always, only permitted within established fire rings in campgrounds and some backcountry campsites.

Overall, Summer 2022 has been less dangerous and less severe than recent summers in Yellowstone National Park.

In Summer 2021, Yellowstone was under Very High Fire Danger from July 5 until Aug. 24. Furthermore, parkwide fire restrictions were in place for the entire duration.

At this point in Summer 2020, park officials were working to contain the Lone Star Fire near the Old Faithful Geyser Basin. The fire burned over 4,000 acres before being fully extinguished by winter weather in October 2020.

As always, the National Park Service reminds visitors that – while it’s better no fires start – the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is fire-adapted.

Fire is essential in maintaining the health of this area’s wildlife habitat and vegetation.

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