The Yellowstone fire of 1988 began in September 7, 1988 by a lighting strike. The fire quickly burned hundreds of thousands of acres because of the extremely dry summer high winds.the fire burned %30 of the national park, it drove animals out of their homes, and cause most of the forest to be destroy and burned into nothing but the stumps left by the burned down trees.
Because of the "natural burn" policy The fires were allowed to burn. This policy allowed fires to run their natural course as long as they were not caused by human activity and as long as the fires did not threaten human, and endangered species. Many news reporters and citizens began to get angry because of the "natural burn" policy. Two Wyoming senators demanded that National Park Superintendent William Mott to be fired.
while a lighting strike did cause the fire, the weather helped continue to spread the fire. Most scientist said that 1988 provided the right combinations of heat, drought, and strong winds, these conditions helped spread the multiple fires that happened in Yellowstone national park.
The forest fire got close to the Old Faithful Inn. As a law enforcement ranger Lee Whittlesey , he was there manning his post. While fire fighters were trying to stop the fires it was not enough, the fires were too strong. The fires would move 2 miles per hour. The wind cared embers across unburned forest and start spot fires. Trying to stop the fire took More than $120 million fighting the fires in the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Some major fires started outside the park. These fires were more than half of the total acres burned in the Yellowstone area.
The fire was part of the cycle of life in a forest. Life would not only go on, but would also benefit from the fire. The fires left cleared ground opened to the sun. Seeds released from pine cones took root fast. Wildflowers began to grow again, and the grasses and shrubs were also growing back. Nutrients from the ash caused the vegetation to grow again. Trees that didn't fall became feeding grounds for insects.