Yellowstone fires not stopping visitors

Posted at 6:13 AM, Sep 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 08:13:25-04

With the Labor Day weekend approaching, many people are planning one more camping trip. Those headed for Yellowstone National Park may be worried that wildfires will keep them out...but so far, that isn't the case.

Gertgaf Vendoormalen came all the way from the Netherlands to visit Yellowstone. Upon seeing flames from the 57 square mile Maple fire burning within 100 yards of the pavement, he assumed the main road would be closed. He says everyone seems to be relaxed about it but it isn't something he's used to in Holland.

In Yellowstone, fire is just a part of life. The Maple fire is burning through parts of the park that were charred by the epic fire of 1988. Park Managers prefer to allow fire to remain a natural part of the lodge pole pine ecosystem there. While keeping visitors safe is a top priority, allowing them to witness fires firsthand is yet another opportunity to educate.

Fire crews are prepared to keep the Maple fire from spreading into major tourist areas, in most places though it will be allowed to burn.

The south entrance to Yellowstone through Teton National Park was closed due to the fire last week, but was reopened on Tuesday.