A wildland fire was spotted in the park for the first time this year on July 22.
By Alison Fox
The fire danger level for Yellowstone National Park has been upgraded to “high” after a wildland fire was spotted in the park for the first time this year.
The confirmed wildland fire was spotted by a visitor to the park on July 22, according to the National Park Service. The fire, which was sparked by lightning, spread to .1 acre between the Little Cottonwood Creek and the Hellroaring Mountain in the northern section of the park.
The fire was later put out and there are no current active wildland fires in the park or any fire restrictions in place.
A “high” fire danger level means wildfires are “likely” and fires “in heavy, continuous fuel, such as mature grassland, weed fields, and forest litter, will be difficult to control under windy conditions,” according to the NPS. The fire danger levels go from “low” to “extreme.”
During “high” danger times, the NPS said “outdoor burning should be restricted to early morning and late evening hours.”
Additionally, campfires are only allowed within established fire rings in campgrounds and in some backcountry campsites. These campfires must be “cold to the touch” before they are abandoned.
Wildfires have gotten out of control and closed parks down before. Last year, wildfires partially closed both Yosemite National Park and the Sierra National Forest.
This is also not the first time Yellowstone has dealt with severe weather. Last year, the park suffered devastating flooding that saw several roads collapse.
Beyond fire activity, travelers to national parks across the country are dealing with extreme temperatures. In Death Valley National Park, temperatures have reached as high as 121 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in dangerous and even deadly situations for park goers.
Travelers who do visit parks during dangerous temperatures should ensure they remain hydrated (think: at least 1 liter of water for every hour they plan to hike), consider visiting during early morning or evening hours, and plan ahead.