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''Yellowstone Lake is the largest body of water in Yellowstone National Park, The lake is 7,732 feet (2,376 m) above sea level and covers 136 square miles (352 km²) with 110 miles (177 km) of shoreline. While the average depth of the lake is 139 feet (42 m) its deepest spot is at least 390 feet (118 m). Yellowstone Lake is the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet (2,133 m) in North America.

In winter, ice nearly 3 feet (1 m) thick covers much of the lake, except where shallow water covers hot springs. The lake freezes over by early December and can remain frozen until late May or early June.

In the southwest area of the lake the West Thumb geothermal area is easily accessible to visitors. Geysers, fumaroles and hot springs are found alongside and even in the lake.''

The trees you see in fg are a common view in Yellowstone N.p. in fact in the 1988 there was a major fire crisis. Starting as many smaller individual fires, the flames spread quickly out of control with increasing winds and drought and combined into one large conflagration, which burned for several months. The fires almost destroyed two major visitor destinations and, on September 8, 1988, the entire park was closed to all non-emergency personnel for the first time in its history. Only the arrival of cool and moist weather in the late autumn brought the fires to an end. A total of 793,880 acres (3,213 km2), or 36 percent of the park was affected by the wildfires.
The Yellowstone fires of 1988 were unprecedented in the history of the National Park Service, and many questioned existing fire management policies. Media accounts of mismanagement were often sensational and inaccurate, sometimes wrongly reporting that most of the park was being destroyed. While there were temporary declines in air quality during the fires, no adverse long-term health effects have been recorded in the ecosystem. Contrary to initial reports, few large mammals were killed by the fires, though there has been a reduction in the number of moose which has yet to rebound. Losses to structures were minimized by concentrating fire fighting efforts near major visitor areas, keeping property damage down to $3 million.

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Additional Photos by ALESSANDRO MACCHI (SWEETFREEDOM) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1587 W: 0 N: 3172] (24623)
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