Q2 Rewind: The Yellowstone Fires of 1988

welcome back the year was 1988 year many will never forget in the summer of 88 Yellowstone National Park was engulfed in flames for months in tonight's queue to rewind we take a look back at the impacts of the fires and the enormous task it was to cover the

ever-growing wildfires former q2 news director now Bureau of Land Management spokesperson al Nash takes us back to the Yellowstone fires of 88 [Music] 1988 was the largest wildland fire season this country had seen since 1910 [Music] the Yellowstone fires had been growing and progressing and by the time

we reached into September it was extraordinary in size and scope and and we understood that and that was about the time that it became more of a national story not just a local and regional news story we figured there's a good chance just a it burned over a

hundred thousand acres the continued devastation of the nation's oldest Park has prompted high-level Washington officials after months of the park burning to take the first-hand look I look at The Associated Press news wire and it said that Cooke City and silver gate were being evacuated I said I'm

going into the studio focused me on the camera punched me up statewide we've got to put this word out good evening from the news station I'm al Nash with this special report on the fires which have plagued the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park today and prompted the

evacuation of Cooke City and silver gate we looked at it and felt that it would had a much greater than 50/50 chance of reaching town dick you guys have decided to stay on I've got 60 years in this spot I'm not going to leave [Applause] the 1 million

taker will burn sometime today J had been absent it was going to be his first day back it's the top of the 5:30 newscast Gus Kearney comes on he introduces Jay who's standing there with the iconic Old Faithful in behind him the news stations Jay Cohn is at

Old Faithful right now Jay do you think firefighters think that they've won the war or just a battle I think it's just the battle at this point guys the best news right now is that as you can see over my shoulder that the 84 year old historic Old

Faithful Inn is pretty much unscathed as a result of the North Fork fire which blew through here yesterday everybody they moved around in an orderly fashion they did exactly what we had planned and of course there was a little luck involved but I think they did an excellent

job so there's a storm on his way I guarantee you coming right now to Northwest the other very seminal moment for me in 1988 was a date that we don't often refer to in the fire community anymore because it was September 11th which has a much different connotation

now than it did at for many years that was the day as the wildland fires were advancing on Park headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs and it's snowed and snow halted the advance of the fire Nature did what people had been unable to accomplish it really signaled the beginning

of the end of the 88 fires at Mammoth Hot Springs nature finally opened up and scored a direct hit snow fell throughout the day not a lot 2/10 of an inch more snow is needed to put out the fires and more is expected over the next couple of

days we did our job we were able to bring important information about what was developing with this ongoing story to our viewers and that's always why we're here for many people Yellowstone National Park conjures up picture postcard images of a once-in-a-lifetime vacation a place to see world-famous thermal

features the beauty of an untamed river falling into a multicolored Canyon or the chance to view wildlife such as elk and bison just a few yards from the safety of your car but for the people of the area we serve the Yellowstone experience is much more intimate communities

like Cooke City silver gate Gardner Mammoth and Cody aren't just Western cities with colorful names places where tourists pass through their places which made national headlines for a few days during early September these remote communities are home to people who rely on us as their primary daily source

of local news and information for those who can't claim these communities as home Yellowstone is more than just a vacation destination or by geographic boundaries drawn on a map for us it is a wonderful wilderness region known simply as the park our Park [Music] at the height of

the 88 fires 10,000 personnel were fighting the flames in Yellowstone the firefighting effort would end up costing 120 million dollars and eighty-eight and and effect 36 percent of the overall acreage in the park by the way that was done by q2 is Justin Xhosa very nice