Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Zoie Koostra

The Canyon Creek Fire blowup revisited 30 years later


August 23, 2018

Byron Bonney

Canyon Creek Fire convection column taken from Lincoln Valley with Stonewall Mountain shown on ridge to right.

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the Canyon Creek fire, which began early in the summer of 1988 but made it's lasting impact when it burned over 200 square miles in one night on Sept. 6.

The summer of 1988 was significant. After a hot and dry summer, fires that had previously been left alone as part of the "let it burn" policy burned out of control. The Forest Service adopted the policy in 1972, which allowed some fires started by lightning strikes in wilderness areas to continue to burn. It was used with relative effectiveness for almost 16 years.

The fires in Yellowstone National...

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