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West Thumb Geyser Basin closed in Yellowstone due to smoking solar battery system

A boardwalk at West Thumb Geyser Basin. (NPS / Jacob W. Frank)

CASPER, Wyo. — West Thumb Geyser Basin in the southern part of Yellowstone National Park is closed until further notice, Yellowstone Public Affairs said on Monday afternoon.

The closure is due to hazardous conditions relating to fumes from a solar battery energy storage system.

Smoke was reported coming out of a small building housing the battery storage system by Northwestern Energy staff on Tuesday, Sept. 6, Yellowstone Public Affairs said.

“Park structural fire crews were notified and dispatched to the location,” the release said. “They did not see flames when they arrived, but there was smoke. The exterior of the building was not damaged.

“Battery fumes are corrosive and hazardous when inhaled. To ensure visitor and employee safety, West Thumb Geyser Basin will be closed until the batteries have fully discharged and fumes have dissipated from the area. The area will continue to be monitored and evaluated by the park structural fire crew and the geyser basin will reopen when it is deemed safe.”


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