Yellowstone Is Green 23 Years After Fire


To GUARDIAN editor Dave Frazier it seemed like only yesterday when he experienced two fire storms in the same day covering the Yellowstone Fires of 1988 for NEWSWEEK.

We took a little drive through the park last week and noted the growth of lodge pole pines and a new appreciation for the “natural reseeding” aspects of forest fires.


Now a part of history and a dim memory for most of the nation, the fires have left a path of green in what was a blackened forest 23 years ago. Recalling the storm at Old Faithful while parked in the middle of a bare parking lot away from any trees, Frazier said it was an adrenaline rush of equal parts of fear and excitement.


Comments & Discussion

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  1. Your photos are really spectacular, David. As usual! The one of the lodge conveys all the sense of potential loss and the urgency firefighters must have felt. I wonder if anything quite conveys how terrifying a force the wild fires are in such dry conditions.

  2. Isn’t it amazing how resilient old ‘Mother nature’ is? It seems she has been able to take anything we throw against her every time.
    Great job Dave.

  3. Heck, it was green the next year. 1989-90 was a great year to see the park. Fire is Mother Nature’s way. Good they saved the old buildings, bad they changed the policy so that fire can’t get it’s work done. Bad they’ve turned it into yet anouther huge budget program. How much did it cost you to see your park this year?

    EDITOR NOTE–Since the federal government has practiced age discrimination I get in for free. Younger people (under 62) are charged $25. Used to be a “victim” and now I am a beneficiary…what a country!

  4. Too bad forest management was so short-sided to spurn bio-diversity in favor of the rapid growth of one tree species. The fires of the late 80s were caused by poor management strategy (put out all fires – let overgrowth accumulate) and poor management will be the cause of fires in a few short years thanks to the beetles. See

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