Update: Yellowstone's Beach Fire is Now Over 500 Acres

Smoke column from the Beach Fire on July 20. NPS photo.

Firefighters continue to battle the fire that started in Yellowstone National Park last Sunday in an area of subalpine fire about two miles south of Beach Lake and seven miles west-southwest of the Bridge Bay Campground. By late Wednesday night it had reached 515 acres in size and was about 20% percent controlled.

This fire is burning in the backcountry several miles away from any roads trails, campgrounds, and lodging. All park roads, entrances, and facilities remain open, and no trails or backcountry campsites are impacted by the fire.

When actively burning, smoke from the Beach Fire may be visible for several miles and may be visible from the Mt. Washburn Fire Lookout Web Cam at this site. There was no significant smoke column visible on Wednesday, which had cooler, more humid, less windy weather than expected.

Incident Commander Jess Secrest and his Northern Rockies Type 2 Incident Management Team arrived in the park Wednesday, set up an Incident Command Post at Fishing Bridge, and took over management of the fire. There are about 168 firefighters currently working the beach Fire, including four 20-person “hotshot” crews and two 20-person “Type 2” hand crews.

On Thursday the crews, which are supported by helitack personnel and several helicopters, will continue building control line along the western flank of the fire through very heavy, mature forest with a significant amount of large dead and downed logs. Progress is expected to be slow but steady.

Weather on Thursday is expected to be a little cooler and more humid than on Wednesday, and there is a chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Winds are forecast to come out of the southwest in the afternoon and increase to 10-15 miles an hour with gusts to around 25 miles an hour.

Updates on the Beach Fire are available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2580, or on the web at this incident site and this news release site.