Fire closes Yellowstone entrance |

Fire closes Yellowstone entrance

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. ” A wind-driven wildfire forced officials on Sunday to close the East Entrance, one of the park’s five major entrances.

“Flames are threatening the road,” National Park Service spokesman Al Nash said.

About 25 miles of the road between the East Entrance and near Fishing Bridge inside the park on the north side of Yellowstone Lake were closed to traffic, Nash said.

“This is a temporary closure,” he said. “We do not know how long it will be necessary to keep the road closed. The fire has increased dramatically in size this afternoon because of the high gusty winds.”

Until the east gate is reopened, travelers from Cody must detour 29 miles through Montana to enter the park.

The fire, which was started by lightning last Thursday, grew from an estimated 2,500 acres on Saturday to an estimated 12,000 acres, or about 18 square miles, on Sunday.

Through July, more than 208,000 visitors have passed through the park’s East Entrance this year.

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