Lone Star fire

The Lone Star fire picked up over the weekend, growing to more than 3,300 acres.

Support Local Journalism


Subscribe


A wildfire south of the most famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park picked up this weekend, growing to more than 5 square miles and briefly closing a road in the park.

The Lone Star fire was listed at 3,346 acres Monday morning on the fire information site InciWeb. That’s more than double its size on Sunday.

The lightning-caused fire has been burning about three miles south of Old Faithful since Aug. 22. After nearing 1,000 acres by the end of August, it slowed down a bit.

But activity increased beginning on Friday with warmer weather and winds fanning the flames. The fire moved to the southeast toward Shoshone Lake, according to fire officials. It topped 1,200 acres that day, and kept growing through the rest of the weekend.

The road between Old Faithful and West Thumb closed briefly on Saturday but is open again. Trailheads in that area are still closed to the public.

So far, the fire hasn’t threatened any structures. It has mostly moved away from the developed area around Old Faithful, but fire crews have done work to prepare the historic buildings in the area for the possibility that the fire might go that way. The fire is about a mile from a backcountry cabin.

Otherwise crews are letting the fire play its natural role in the ecosystem. It’s burning lodgepole pine, spruce and fir in a part of the park that hasn’t burned in a long time.

A total of 52 people are assigned to the fire, according to InciWeb. The National Interagency Fire Center’s daily situation report said the fire had cost more than $1.1 million as of Monday morning.

Support Local Journalism

To see what else is happening in Gallatin County subscribe to the online paper.

Michael Wright can be reached at mwright@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2638.