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A historic wildfire watch tower burned to the ground after it was struck by lightning in Yellowstone National Park, officials announced Wednesday. 

The Mount Holmes Fire Lookout was struck by lightning during a severe thunderstorm Tuesday afternoon and completely destroyed by fire, according to a press release from the park. The fire also damaged a radio repeater. 

A fire observer at another lookout spotted the blaze. 

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Park staff attempted to reach the site by helicopter Wednesday to assess the damage, but the flight was grounded due to high winds. The summit of Mount Holmes, as well as the Mount Holmes Trail west of the Trilobite Lake Trail junction, has been closed to the public. 

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The Mount Holmes lookout was built in 1931 and was eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the release. It was taken out of service in 2007.

Yellowstone staffs one fire lookout, Mount Washburn, during the summer months. Three other watch stations are available for use on an as-needed basis. 

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Digital Editor

Alan Rogers came to Casper in 2012 to lead the photo department and now serves as digital editor, tasked with managing Trib.com, the Star-Tribune’s social media and more. If not confined to a cubicle, you can find him taking photos all across Wyoming.

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