Yellowstone Reports 1st Wildfire of Summer 2021
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 28, 2021
Within a week of Yellowstone National Park raising its fire danger, a small lightning-strike fire was reported and immediately suppressed due to its location.
Yellowstone officials announced the park’s first wildfire of the Summer 2021 season. The Elk Creek Fire was caught and put out so quickly it hasn’t even received an InciWeb page.
The Elk Creek Fire, 0.1 acres in size, is located on a ridge south of Blacktail Drive and west of Petrified Tree in the northern part of the park. Park officials say the fire is being “immediately suppressed” due to its unfavorable location this early in the fire season.
As of Sunday, June 27, there are no closures related to the Elk Creek Fire. Also, there are no fire restrictions anywhere in the park.
Most of northwest Wyoming is either unseasonably dry or in a moderate drought in Summer 2021. In addition, Yellowstone will be receiving less than its average amount of winter snowpack runoff.
Shoshone National Forest has enacted Stage One Fire Restrictions on June 25. Several activities are banned or restricted until conditions make them safer. This likely won’t happen until autumn or winter.
On Monday, June 14, Yellowstone officials raised the park’s fire danger from Low to Moderate. Within a week – Monday, June 21 – Yellowstone’s fire danger rose once again from Moderate to High.
According to the U.S. Forest Service’s Wildfire Assessment System, “a Fire Danger Rating level takes into account current, and antecedent weather, fuel types, and both live and dead fuel moisture.”
The Elk Creek Fire won’t be the only Yellowstone fire in 2021 – but any spark could quickly grow out of control.
2020’s Lone Star Fire burned near Old Faithful for several months. Another lightning-strike fire, over 4,000 acres were burned before the fire was contained and put out – largely by natural forces – in October.
Campfires are only permitted within established fire rings in campgrounds and some backcountry campsites within the park.
For the latest information on Yellowstone’s fire status and information on any current or past fires, check out the Current Fire Activity page on the Yellowstone National Park website. In addition, the most up-to-date information on active Yellowstone fires is posted on InciWeb.