Wildfire Forces Closure of Popular Yellowstone Park Entrance
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Wildfire Forces Closure of Popular Yellowstone Park Entrance

A sign at Yellowstone.
Mark Miller/Getty Images

As visitors and park rangers prepare for the centennial celebration of the National Park Service, a 35-square-mile wildfire in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming has closed off the south entrance to the park.

"It's the main thoroughfare between Jackson and Yellowstone National Park, and this is the 100-year centennial of the National Park Service, so there's a lot of celebrations going on," fire spokesman Brian Lawatch told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

Visitors to the park were not entirely deterred from visiting, but the south entrance does see around 4,000 vehicles pass in and out on a daily basis at this time of year.

Photos and videos from the scene of the fire show the flames continuing to burn. Park officials had warned visitors last week of increasingly smoky conditions, then burning at 14,000 acres.

Hot and dry summer weather, coupled with strong winds, have made conditions prime for wildfires across several western states.

The Hearst Castle, a museum and state park in California’s San Luis Obispo County was contending with its own wildfire that had already destroyed several dozen homes in the neighborhood and was two miles east of the property by Tuesday.

Filled with precious art collections and other valuable items, the castle has been guarded by teams of firefighters around the clock.

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