The Fires of ’88 - Yellowstone National Park
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 57.097 W 110° 42.794
12T E 522620 N 4977615
History sign about the fires in Yellowstone National Park in 1988.
Waymark Code: WMD6FP
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 11/26/2011
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member caverspencer
Views: 6

“The Fires of ’88” sign is located at a roadside turnout about a two miles south of Mammoth. Text of sign:

The Fires of ’88
Lightning struck on May 24, 1988, igniting the first fire of the season. The fire burned less than an acre and went out on the same day -- typical behavior for a wet spring. No one knew, or could guess, what summer held in store.

Summer of Smoke
By mid-June, weather patterns changed. Severe drought set in. Dry lightning (lightning without rain) struck repeatedly. Winds blew incessantly, gusting up to 80 miles (129 km) per hour. One fire after another ignited. In all, 50 fires burned in the park that summer. Propelled by hurricane-force wind and fed by drought-stricken vegetation, the fires raged across the landscape, many joining as huge conflagrations.

The Firefighters of ’88
More than 25,000 men and women from the United States military and land management agencies joined forces against the Fires of ’88. Braving heat, danger, and fatigue, they protected human life and countless structures in the park and surrounding communities.

Smothered by Snow
On September 11, the first snow of the season fell. A quarter of an inch blanketed the ground. The fires continued to smolder until late November, but snow and cool weather quieted their intensity.

Fast Facts
Of the park’s 112 years of written weather statistics, the summer of 1988 was the driest.
The moisture content of grasses and shrubs fell to a mere 2-3%. Trees were measured at 7% -- lower than kiln-dried lumber.
Marker Name: The Fires of ’88

Marker Type: Rural Roadside

Group Responsible for Placement: National Park Service

Web link(s) for additional information: [Web Link]

Addtional Information: Not listed

Date Dedicated: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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