Posted: Jul 12, 2012 8:56 PM
Updated: Jul 13, 2012 7:41 AM
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK - Lightning from recent thunderstorms has started a small fire inside the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park, along the Montana-Wyoming border.
The Blacktail Fire was reported shortly after 3 o'clock Thursday afternoon. It is located a little over a mile north of the entrance to Blacktail Plateau Drive, which is along the road linking Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction.
As of 6 p.m. Thursday, the fire was approximately 5 acres in size. Due to its location, dry conditions, and a forecast for dry thunderstorms Friday, the decision was made to suppress this fire.
Eight smoke jumpers and a helicopter with five firefighters and a bucket for water drops were already on scene late Thursday afternoon. A Canadian air tanker is expected over the fire early Thursday evening to help control the fire.
Smoke may be visible at times from the road, and on the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout. No roads, campgrounds or trails are closed because of this fire, and it poses no threat to visitors.
The fire danger in Yellowstone National Park is currently "Very High." The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for all of northwest Wyoming for Friday afternoon and evening due to expected critical fire weather conditions.
This is the fifth fire reported in Yellowstone this year. The first fires of the season were all started by people and were less than a quarter-acre in size.
Temporary fire restrictions are in effect: C
Smoking is prohibited along all trails and anywhere in the backcountry. Smoking is allowed in vehicles and along roads, near buildings, and in developed campgrounds or picnic areas if you are standing in an area at least three feet in diameter where nothing on the ground will burn.