Roof of the Old Faithful Inn Silhouetted against Column of Smoke
Sept. 6, 1988 (NPS Photo)
In the days leading up to Sept. 7, 1988 the wind had been relatively calm, slowing the advance of the North Fork fire.
But during the afternoon and evening of Sept. 6, winds increased and Yellowstone officials prepared for the worst as
they amassed firefighters for the "showdown" at Old Faithful. As I walked around the Old Faithful area on the evening
of Sept. 6, this large column of smoke was a constant presence that distracted from the geysers and other wonders
that usually dominate the area.
This National Park Service photo is a view of the silhouetted roof of the Old Faithful Inn, looking to the west (as one
might look toward the Inn from the general direction of Old Faithful Geyser). The orange red is the distorted color of
the sun as it shines through thick smoke. The sun here is too high in the sky for sunset, and there was no glow of fire
in the sky that evening. When it had gotten completely dark, I stood near the Inn and looked in the direction of the fire,
but there was still no visible glow from my vantage point.