Lightning-Caused Fire Burns Yellowstone Lookout

Jul 17, 2019
Originally published on July 19, 2019 12:04 pm

Yellowstone National Park says that its Mount Holmes Fire Lookout burned to the ground Tuesday afternoon after being struck by lightning. The fire also damaged a park radio repeater.

The fire lookout is located southwest of Mammoth Hot Springs and north of Madison Junction.

As of Wednesday, the Mount Holmes Trail west of the junction with the Trilobite Lake Trail and the summit of Mount Holmes are closed. The closure will remain in effect until the unsafe conditions are assessed, mitigated, and no longer pose a threat to public safety.

Built in 1931, and renovated in 1998, the Mount Holmes Fire Lookout maintained its historic-era role as one of Yellowstone National Park’s staffed lookout stations until 2007, a press release from Yellowstone Park says. The building was eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, both for its significance in early park resource protection efforts, and as an outstanding example of the rustic architectural style that typified early park architecture.

"We are disappointed that this historic structure, as a window into the past, is gone,” said Yellowstone National Park Deputy Superintendent Pat Kenney.

The Mount Washburn Fire Lookout is currently staffed seven days a week, mid-June through mid-September. If warranted, three additional lookouts can be staffed.

Get the latest wildfire, fire management and air quality news for Western Montana and the Northern Rockies, on your radio during our morning and evening newscasts, via podcast, or in your inbox each day.

Copyright 2019 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.