Backburns and wind ballooned fires in Yellowstone National Park Monday, where more than 125,500 acres already have burned, and in Bighorn National Forest to the east, firefighters worked to control blazes charring 1,800 acres.
A timber fire that burned 3,840 acres over six days in the Black Hills on the edge of Rapid City, S.D., was declared controlled Sunday night. A fire is considered controlled when it is reduced to smoldering patches.Crews used hand tools and turned over logs to crush out the last embers of that blaze, in which arson is suspected.
Fires burned still in Idaho, Utah, Washington state and Montana.
In Yellowstone, fires that forced the closure of some areas of the park last week began to calm over the weekend, leaving firefighters battling only two: the 11,600-acre Fan fire in the park's northwestern corner and the North Fork fire west of Old Faithful.
But on Sunday, high wind combined with backburning intended to stop the blazes fanned the North Fork fire from 11,300 acres to 18,200 in 24 hours, said Earl LaOrange, a fire information officer.
Monday about 360 firefighters were sent back to re-establish the lines along the southern and eastern edges of the fire, said fire information officer Larry Blade.
Also jumping substantially in size was the Fan fire, which grew from 7,500 acres to 11,600, said LaOrange.
Areas of the park closed by the fires, including the park's south entrance closed by the 12,000-acre Shoshone fire and the 11,400-acre Red fire, reopened Sunday, although the road from the park's south entrance was closed periodically throughout the day.
But in the Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming, officials were hampered by winds and were expecting manpower problems as they tried to control an estimated 1,800-acre fire.
In Idaho, cooler weather helped firefighters Monday come closer to containing the 5,000-acre Willis Gulch Fire in the Boise National Forest, and crews using hand tools battled another west-central Idaho blaze still growing in rugged, remote terrain near Cascade.
About 90 percent of the Willis Gulch fire's 10-mile perimeter was surrounded by cleared fire lines early Monday.
"It's coming along really well," Forest Service spokeswoman Jean Hawthorne said. "The weather is cooperating a lot. It's a lot cooler."
More than 1,150 people were committed to the 7-day-old blaze about 35 miles northeast of Boise in a drive to contain it by Monday night. The fire has destroyed $7.5 million worth of timber and other resources.
Priority was being shifted to the 3-day-old Riordan Lake fire, also in the Boise National Forest, Hawthorne said. The lightning-caused blaze had consumed 110 acres by early Monday.
Cooler weather also helped Washington state firefighters contain two fires burning in old-growth trees and felled timber in the Cascade Mountains, while a fire line was established around a 55-acre blaze on the Olympic Peninsula despite high wind.
Containment of the 3,600-acre Falls Creek fire along the crest of the Cascades, originally predicted for Sunday evening, was expected by Monday night said Barbara Kennedy, a Forest Service spokeswoman.
A crew battling a 400-acre fire in the northern Utah desert expected to contain that later Monday, said Interagency Fire Center dispatcher Bill Brooks.
Crews fought the stubborn Rock Creek fire in southwestern Montana, and a camper was in custody on suspicion of leaving an unattended fire that started the fire on July 22.