Firefighters contained a lightning-sparked blaze on Mount Washburn in Yellowstone National Park on Monday afternoon and are expected to begin rehabilitating the area on Wednesday.
A park service recording updated at 7:30 p.m. on Monday said the fire was "declared contained at 6 p.m." and crews were leaving the area with the aid of three helicopters.Some 160 firefighters remained on the scene Monday evening, the recording said. Forty-eight firefighters were released from the lines on Sunday, park spokeswoman Marsha Karle said then.
As it had over the weekend, the weather cooperated with the firefighters, with moderate winds, overcast skies and a trace of precipitation aiding the fight, the recording service said.
The 220-acre blaze that started on Thursday burned along the west rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River northeast of Dunraven Pass, Karle said. Two helicopters lifted buckets of river water and dumped them on the canyon walls to drown out fires started by falling trees, Karle said.
Some trees that burned on the rim tumbled into the canyon, spreading the fire to vegetation on the steep rock walls, she said.
Helicopter crews were expected to continue dousing the spot fires burning in the area about two miles from the nearest section burned in the historic fires of 1988.
It was the uproar after those fires that prompted a change to the let-it-burn policy. Now, firefighters aggressively attack any fire in the forested area.
Mop-up crews are to remain in the Washburn area and plan to start rehabilitative work in the burned area on Wednesday, the recording said.