More than 200 firefighters on Thursday were battling five wildfires that covered more than 11,000 acres in Yellowstone National Park, and received some help from cooler, wetter weather.
Combined, the five lightning-sparked blazes were being managed as the Druid Complex.
The largest of the fires, the Alum Fire burning on the west side of the Grand Loop Road between Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge, covered the most acreage, at 7,070 acres. The Alder Fire, located on the south end of Yellowstone Lake on a peninsula, covered 4,240 acres.
The Alum Fire has prompted officials to temporarily close the Mud Volcano area, the area around LeHardy Rapids, and several picnic areas and pullouts, as well as some backcountry trails in the area.
"Preparations have been made to provide structure protection in the Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, and Bridge Bay areas should the fire advance towards the northwest shore of Yellowstone Lake," a park release said. "While area evacuations are not imminent, preparations are underway to assist residents and visitors in leaving the Fishing Bridge, Lake Village, and Bridge Bay areas in the event that an evacuation is necessary in the coming days."
Though wetter weather Wednesday helped slow the fires' growth, the thunderstorms also brought lightning that might have ignited additional fires in the park. Scattered thunderstorms were in the forecast Thursday that could bring additional precipitation to the area, the release added.
* Druid Fire: The Druid Fire is located high above the Northeast Entrance road on the north side of Druid Peak. It remains at 150 acres. Smoke from the fire may impact Cook City and Silver Gate depending on the wind direction and the plume may be visible. However, the fire is not advancing toward any communities.
* Snake Fire: The Snake Fire is located three miles east of the South Entrance along the boundary with the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The fire currently covers 200 acres but remains minimally active.
* Passage Fire: The Passage Fire is located at the south end of Yellowstone Lake. It is the smallest of the fires at 1 acre, and is isolated in a small patch of trees. There has been no spread of the fire.
All roads leading into and through the park as well as the roads to all campgrounds, lodging, stores and visitor services in the park were open Thursday. All visitors are encouraged to check for updates often as road closures may be needed based on the fire’s activity. Updated park road information is available 24-hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.