So far Yellowstone has escaped this summer’s conflagrations because there has been almost no lightning, but you don’t have spend much time in the Park to see that it is every bit as dry as the summer of 1988.

The first big fire is the Owl Fire in the backcountry at the NW corner of the Park.

Yellowstone Park page on the Owl Fire.

Update late on July 25. The Owl Fire has grown from 200 acres to over a thousand. The new Beaverdam Fire in the remote SE corner of the Park is over 540 acres (about a square mile).

July 26 The latest on the fire on Inciweb. The growth was due to thunderstorm winds.

July 27. The Owl Fire has doubled again, and is now over 2000 acres.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

4 Responses to First big fire for Yellowstone Park

  1. Mikeh says:

    Looks like the park should be getting some good rain in the next couple of days. Some wet weather is being pushed up from the south with a cold front moving in.

    This area already had some rain today.

  2. I saw that. The Old Faithful web cam showed people standing in the rain!

    That’s been a rare sight!

    Was there lightning? . . . and/or enough rain to offset lightning?

    Here is the afternoon report on the Owl Fire, which seems to have grown by about 1/3 since yesterday.

    Operations on the fire were suspended this afternoon because thunderstorms in the area created erratic winds and unpredictable fire behavior. At times this afternoon a large smoke column from the Owl Fire was visible for several miles.

  3. Mikeh says:

    Ralph, I have no idea about the lightning. I won’t be in the area until next week, I’m leaving Thursday or Friday.

    I follow the weather from and this Montana news network:

    They have some nice daily weather video updates from their various locations across the state( just click on the near top tabs for the different cities). Looks like a cold front is blowing in with good moisture.

    Glad to hear about the rain at Old Faithful. I haven’t checked those cams in quite some time.

  4. Mikeh says:




‎"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