Image: Pioneer Fire and Maple Fire burning still
The Pioneer Fire in Idaho and the Maple Fire in Wyoming, just outside of Yellowstone, are both still burning. The Pioneer Fire has been burning for almost two months now and has burned 185,895 acres to date. It is 56% contained at present. The weather is predicted to cool down with a cold front to move over the fire area late today (Sept. 12). Fire officials are looking forward to a decrease in the fire activity with the cooler temperatures and west/northwest wind. In spite of this firefighters are cognizant it will take a few days for the fuel moisture to recover to levels prior to the drying trend. Smoke is expected to remain in the area as interior fuels continue to burn.
The Maple Fire in Wyoming began six weeks ago with a lightning strike. The fire is located 4 miles NNE of West Yellowstone, MT in Wyoming. This fire, rather than being vigorously fought, is being managed under a monitoring and point-protection strategy. It will provide fire managers a unique opportunity to study current fire behavior in the 1988 fire scar from the North Fork fire of '88. Yesterday, fire monitors collected fuel samples from the Maple fire, and monitored fire activity, and weather. The Maple fire continues to grow in a northwesterly direction and is burning in the old burned out area through dead and down trees and in pine regeneration.
This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on September 10, 2016. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS's thermal bands, are outlined in red. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner with information from Inciweb.