Head of Yellowstone during 1988 fires dies

BOZEMAN, Mont. - The man who oversaw Yellowstone National Park during the wildfires that burned across the park in 1988 has died.

Bob Barbee was 80. Family spokeswoman Joan Anzelmo says Barbee died at home in Bozeman on Sunday.

Barbee was superintendent of Yellowstone from 1983 to 1994. The 1988 Yellowstone fires were a defining event in his 42-year career of public service.

The fires burned more than 1,500 square miles inside and outside the park and transformed Yellowstone's landscapes in ways still easily recognizable. More than 10,000 firefighters battled the fires at their peak.

Barbee previously was superintendent of Hawaii Volcanoes and Redwoods national parks. He was regional superintendent of Alaska's national parks before retiring in 2000.

Barbee is survived by his wife, Carol, three daughters and seven grandchildren.

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