A historic wildfire lookout in Yellowstone National Park burned this week after being struck by lightning.

The Mount Holmes fire lookout burned on Tuesday, Yellowstone spokeswoman Linda Veress said. The lookout sat on top of the peak southwest of Mammoth Hot Springs and north of Madison Junction at an elevation of about 10,000 feet.

The employee who staffs the Mount Washburn fire lookout reported the Mount Holmes fire late Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday morning, three park employees and the park fire chief tried to fly to the lookout by helicopter but the flight was postponed. While flying, however, the helicopter manager got a photo of the lookout that showed the structure was burned to the ground, leaving only the stone foundation.

Built in 1931, the lookout was staffed until 2007, Yellowstone deputy superintendent Pat Kenney said in the release. It was renovated in 1998, and Kenney said it was “an outstanding example of the rustic architectural style that typified early park architecture.”

“We are disappointed that this historic structure, as a window into the past, is gone,” Kenney said.

A radio repeater was also damaged by the fire.

The release said staff tried to fly to the site again Wednesday afternoon but failed because of high winds. Staff will try again in the next few days.

Park officials have closed the Mount Holmes Trail west of its junction with the Trilobite Lake Trail. The summit of Mount Holmes is also closed. The park said in the release that the closure will remain until conditions are safer.

Michael Wright can be reached at mwright@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2638. Follow him on Twitter @mj_wright1.

Michael Wright covers the environment and wildlife issues for the Chronicle.

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