Yellowstone/Grand Teton fires having big final run before season ending change in weather

Arnica Creek (YNP) at 9300 acres; Bearpaw Bay (GTNP) 2500 acres; more in the Gros Ventre-

Fires consuming acres, but weather might turn. By Cory Hatch, Jackson Hole Daily

By Wednesday morning there might be snow and an end to the suddenly exciting late season burst of wildfires.

– – – – –

Photos of  and commentary9/28 on the Arnica Fire by Dusty Roads.

The photos were taken from boat on Yellowstone Lake. Sept. 27, 2009

Arnica Creek forest fire from Yellowstone Lake. Copyright Dusty Roads. Sept. 27, 2009

Telephoto of Arnica Fire from Yellowstone Lake. Copyright Dusty Roads
Arnica Creek forest fire from Yellowstone Lake. Copyright Dusty Roads. Sept. 27, 2009
The burn of the Arnica Fire from Lake after the flames had passed. Copyright Dusty Roads






  1. Maska Avatar

    Amazing photos!

  2. kt Avatar

    Yes indeed, very cool photo!

  3. Dusty Avatar

    Thanks. There were only a few folks on the lake and I was fortunate to be one of them, with a camera in hand.

    These photos are from Sunday when the fire crossed the road and after as the boat I was on headed for Bridge Bay. It was a strategic move since the helicopter had gone away which indicated there was the possibility of the fire getting closer to the marina and maybe even the hotel. The hotel was far enough away where it would have to be quite a bad SW wind to get it there. At Bridge Bay we found two helicopters working hot spots up in the hills a couple miles west and south. The marina was filled with smoke but it was clear at the hotel. The smoke on the water was thick between Bridge Bay and Pumice Point. The crowns of smoke plumes from the fire(s) near Jackson were visible in the distance. Otherwise, it was a clear, blue sky and somewhat warm with a chill wind the whole weekend.

    Glad you like the photos, I’m happy to post them. Only saw one other boat with one person out on the water taking photos at the time. Some folks at Grant marina were taking photos, though there were few of them.

  4. pointswest Avatar

    The first big snow storm of the season hits the Tetons…

    Teton Valley cam afternoon of 9/30

    Jackson Pass cam afternoon 9/30

    Forecast is for more heavy snow. Up on the mountain, there may be well over a foot by morning.

  5. izabelam Avatar

    We had reservation at Lake Hotel and had to switch to Canyon for one night and ended up in Gardiner for 2 nights. I like the pictures. We chickened out and left the area.
    Hopefully snow got the fire out. It was bad and at some point the rangers did not allow anyone to go between West Thumb and FB.
    The conditions were perfect for the fire. Dry. Hot…windy and animals were hiding. Unfortunately the fire killed my trip. year..
    It was snowing heavily in Island Park and on the way thru Idaho Falls.

  6. Dusty Avatar

    One thing that kept this fire from growing more rapidly and doing more damage is that it has been a cool, wet summer and the water content in the trees was higher than in many past fire-years.

    According to knowledgeable persons, there is one hotshot crew left there but all others have been called off even though the Loop Road is still closed to North-South travel.


    We were driving on the plateau toward Canyon when we noticed a wisp of smoke on the mountain. We were staying outside Gardiner where there had been a small fire that had smoldered all week, so we didn’t pay much attention to it. We stopped for a short hike to Ice Lake, and by the time we got back to the car smoke was billowing straight up into the sky. We drove on through Hayden Valley to Fishing Bridge. By the time we got there, smoke was climbing higher and spreading out like the anvil cloud on a thunderhead. It was an amazing sight to watch the fire build up like it did, especially into a blue, cloudless sky. As we flew directly over Yellowstone on Saturday from Bozeman head for Denver, we could clearly see Yellowstone Lake and the valleys filled with smoke.

  8. pointswest Avatar

    Ken Burns’ series on the National Parks is getting high ratings. IMDb voters are, so far, giving it a 9.2/10. This is very high. Below are some chosen videos with their rating for comparison.

    The Wizard of Oz 8.3/10
    The West (Steve Ives) 8.5/10
    The Civil War (Ken Burns) 9.6/10
    No Country for Old Men (Best Picture 2008) 8.3/10
    The War (Ken Burns) 9.2/10 –Ken’s 2nd most highly rated documentary
    Slumdog Millionaire (Best Picture 2009) 8.4/10
    Sicko (Michael Moore) 8.3/10
    Titanic (Top Grosing Movie of All Time) 7.3/10


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.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ralph Maughan