The “Butte Fire” at 110 acres is largest in a slow forest fire season inside YNP-

Lightning-caused fire in park grows to 110 acres. Billings Gazette.

Update 9/8/2009. Fire on Druid Peak grows to 200 acres. AP

Update 9/10/2009. Bad news. It is burning whitebark pine, the endangered and incredibly valuable food source for grizzly bears.

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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

2 Responses to Fire on Druid Peak is the largest in Yellowstone this summer

  1. avatar Matt says:

    I wonder if the fire will have any impact on where the Druids choose to den this winter?

  2. Matt,

    Here is the latest news of the Park web site. It is dated Aug. 30, indicating to me that the fire probably did not grow a lot.

    Last 48 hours: The fire has grown from 40 acres to 110 acres since Wednesday evening. It is moving downhill and to the south-southeast into Lodgepole pine, remaining well away from the Northeast Entrance road. The fire has not moved across the ridge line into the spruce and fir forest located to the north of the fire.

    Management Strategy: Most fires occurring in the Greater Yellowstone Area are caused by lightning. Yellowstone National Park is a fire adapted ecosystem. Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of the area’s wildlife and vegetation. Firefighters are monitoring and managing the Butte Fire in order to protect people and property, enhance the area’s natural resources, and effectively use available firefighting resources.

    Impacts to visitors and area residents: Public and firefighter safety is always the park’s first concern and priority. The Butte Fire poses no threat to visitors or area residents. Smoke and flames may be visible at times from along the Northeast Entrance road. Winds may carry smoke northeast into the Pebble Creek Campground and the communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City. Smoke may also settle overnight in river and creek drainages and along the valley floor.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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