Interagency News Release- Fire managers from Teton County, Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest have emphasized that despite cooler morning temperatures, the fire danger remains at ‘Very High,’ which means fires will start easily from most causes. Additionally, partial fire restrictions are in place across Sublette, Lincoln and Teton counties, and for both Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest. Included in current partial fire restrictions: Fires are only allowed in approved fire pits in developed areas, and smoking is allowed only in an enclosed vehicle, building where smoking is allowed, developed recreation site, or while in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
In the last 24 hours there have been seven new fire starts on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and the causes of these fires remain under investigation. There are four uncontrolled fires burning in the area right now including Cliff Creek, Buffalo Valley, Sheep Mountain, and Berry Fires.
“Things are incredibly dry, even though the mornings feel cool,” said Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Chief Willy Watsabaugh. “In ‘Very High’ fire danger, small fires can quickly become large fires and exhibit extreme fire intensity, such as long-distance spotting and fire whirls,” he said.
Grand Teton National Park’s Assistant Fire Management Officer Mack McFarland noted that we are experiencing record high fire danger indices for this time of year. “Under conditions like these, fires can be difficult to control and will often become much larger and longer-lasting fires,” said McFarland.
There are no season ending events, which are weather events with significant amounts of precipitation, forecast for the upcoming weeks. “The predicted weather will test our containment lines on these fires,” said Blackrock District Ranger Todd Stiles of the Bridger-Teton National Forest. “We certainly are preparing for an uptick in the fire behavior,” he said. “Never leaving a campfire unattended, and making sure they are completely extinguished before leaving is something expected of every recreationist, no matter where they are,” added Stiles.
The public is encouraged to report illegal campfires in Lincoln, Sublette and Teton counties, or on Grand Teton National Park or the Bridger-Teton National Forest to Teton Interagency Fire Dispatch at 307-739-3630. McFarland reiterated that with the public’s help we can potentially avoid costly fire suppression efforts. “The last several days have shown that conditions are right for fires to spread quickly and actively grow,” he said. For more information visit www.tetonfires.com.