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Wildfire near West Yellowstone 20 percent contained

Firefighters work to build a containment line around a wildfire burning on the western edge of Yellowstone National Park in Montana. 

Firefighters had achieved 75 percent containment on a 200-acre fire burning just inside the Yellowstone National Park boundary and were shifting resources Sunday to aide firefighters tackling a larger complex of fires outside the park.

According to a news release from park officials, the Tatanka, also known as the Buffalo Complex fire, is a series of three lightning-caused fires.

At more than 16,000 acres, the Maple fire, four miles east of the park’s west boundary, grew about 1,500 acres Saturday but had not crossed the West Entrance Road. Contingency plans have been developed should the fire move westward towards West Yellowstone. Firefighters plan on holding the fire to the east of the Madison River.

The Buffalo fire, now about 2,200 acres, is three miles south of the park boundary.

The Fawn fire, west of Fawn Pass, is now about 1,100 acres. Both the Buffalo and Fawn fires will show increased smoke and fire activity in the coming days, fire managers said.

The West Entrance road to the park remains open. Should smoke and fire activity increase, pilot cars may be put in place to safely escort vehicles through the area.

The National Park Service will hold a community meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the Union Pacific dining hall in West Yellowstone to discuss the Maple fire and the Tatanka Complex of fires.

The Boundary fire, four miles north of West Yellowstone, is now less than 200 acres. Cause of the fire is still under investigation. One crew and a four-person engine module will remain on the Boundary fire to finish mopping up and patrolling the fire.

All roads leading into and through the park are open. All park visitor facilities, including park concession-operated services, and businesses in surrounding communities are not impacted by the fires and remain open.

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