First big fire for Yellowstone Park

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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Idaho state officials, livestock producers, and Idaho Sportsmen for Fish and (some) Wildlife – hand in hand…

Video of the recent Boise wolf hearing on the WWP blog.

Look who’s going to be running the show for wolves in Idaho. Note: “management flexibility” means kill wolves without restriction.

That’s the endangered species act under George Bush and Dirk Kempthorne. Note that Jim Caswell, in one of the video segments, is the new nominee to head the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (the largest portion of the public lands). Colorado’s U.S.Senator Ken Salazar has put Caswell’s nomination on hold, where it will hopefully stay until this God-awful Administration is done for.

Alien Invader in Yellowstone: toadflax

Here is the story in the West Yellowstone News. By Carol Hoffman.

When I was in YNP last week I pulled up some of this from along the Madison River (at “the Barns”) and also along the north part of the Grand Loop. I saw some on the edge of the road in Lamar Valley, but there was not good place to stop.

I hope someone who reads this will get it before it goes to seed.

Web page on yellow toadflax.

Rocky Barker’s blog: Wolf biologist says federal wildlife agent pointed rifle at her

I missed this story while I was in Yellowstone last week.

This incident involves the Mexican wolves.

Barker’s blog.

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Idaho fire nears homes, military range: Fires rage in Idaho, Utah, Nevada

IDAHO FIRES

Idaho fire nears homes, military range. By Keith Ridley. This is in the SW corner of Idaho, with a portion in Nevada. It is now being called “the Murphy [fire] complex.

“This fire has the potential to be one of the worst fires in American history” if it moves north, Hawkins [incident management commander] said. “But I don’t think that will happen.”

The figure they are giving is 880 square miles. That’s 2300 square kilometers — over 550,000 acres. Whatever, it will be larger after today because there is no break in the abnormally hot and dry weather, except perhaps thunderstorms (probably more of a curse than blessing).

Update: Murphy Hot Springs (resort) did not burn.

Update. Here is a very good wildlfire locator map KT emailed to me.

Incident web page for this fire — the Murphy Complex. It is updated every day at noon EDT, 10 AM MDT.

Update late on July 23. Forest Service closes Salmon River camps, river stays open. By Roger Phillips – Idaho Statesman.
I lunch with a boatman just off the Salmon River. He said the canyon was very hot and had filled with smoke from nearby fires. While some areas had over 2 inches of rain recently, the lightning that came with it caused many new fire starts. As the story says the Salmon River and the Frank Church Wilderness could be closed without a lot of notice, given the deteriorating conditions. Note: the Salmon River is in the Central Idaho Mountains. The huge Murphy Complex is in SW Idaho on the Owyhee Plateau and the Snake River Plain.

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UTAH FIRES

In other fires . . . in Central Utah where a number of fires burn, several small towns have received evacuation notices — Oaker Hills, Indian Ridge, Elk Ridge, Indianola and Holiday Oaks.

Story in the Salt Lake Tribune. Fiery retreat: Salt Creek residents flee menacing wildfire. By Matthew D. La Plante. FYI, Salt Creek is the canyon between Nephi, Utah and the San Pete Valley (the south slope of Mt. Nebo).

Photos of Utah Wildfires. From the Salt Lake Tribune.

Update July 24: Fire crews report gains across Utah. Salt Lake Tribune
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NEVADA FIRES

Thunderstorm [Monday] threat today for huge wildfires across northern Nevada. By Martin Griffith. AP

Update. Photo of Scott Creek fire in Nevada

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