Lone Star fire

The Lone Star fire has burned about 300 acres in Yellowstone National Park. 

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A lightning-caused fire has burned an estimated 660 acres near Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.

The Lone Star fire was discovered Saturday about three miles south of Old Faithful, northwest of Shoshone Lake.

Park officials say the fire is not burning toward the developed area around the famous geyser. Fire spokeswoman Rebecca Roland said winds in the area typically come up the Snake River Plain, which in this case would push the fire away from Old Faithful.

“It’s usually from the southwest so it kind of blows that fire northeast,” Roland said.

That could always change, though, and crews have been taking steps to protect the historic buildings in the area. In addition to the buildings at Old Faithful, crews have also worked to protect the Cove Cabin on the shores of Shoshone Lake.

Roland said the fire has been designated for suppression because of its proximity to Old Faithful. That means crews will try to stop any progress toward the developed area.

A Type 3 Incident Management Team took over the fire on Monday. The team came with a group of firefighters and a fire engine. More resources have been ordered, according to Roland, but she couldn’t say exactly what those were.

Crews were in the air and on the ground monitoring the fire Monday. Calm weather and low wind kept it from going too crazy, according to Roland. Cooler weather is expected over the next few days.

Smoke from the fire forced the closure of the main road connecting the western and southern parts of the park. The road from Old Faithful to West Thumb — the western edge of Yellowstone Lake — has been closed since Sunday.

All the trails accessed from that road are closed. Several backcountry campsites in the area and along the north side of Shoshone Lake are also closed.

At 660 acres, the fire is already the largest wildfire in Yellowstone since the 5,200-acre Bacon Rind fire in 2018.

Fire danger in Yellowstone is listed as “very high.” Park officials ordered a number of fire restrictions on Friday, before the fire started.

The restrictions prohibit campfires in the backcountry, even in established fire rings. It also prohibits smoking in the backcountry and on all trails unless the person is immediately next to a fire ring or in an area barren of flammable material.

Similar smoking restrictions apply in the front country. However, campfires are still allowed in designated fire rings at developed campgrounds and day-use picnic areas.

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

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

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