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Abandoned campfire serves as reminder to practice fire safety this Fourth of July

JACKSON, Wyo. — As the Independence Day holiday approaches, visitors and local residents alike are reminded that fireworks are not permitted in Grand Teton National Park, on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, within the National Elk Refuge, or in Sublette and Teton counties in Wyoming. These fireworks regulations play a critical role in fire prevention.

As recently as last Saturday, June 27, Teton interagency firefighters were called to an abandoned campfire. The Flat Creek 2 Fire was one-tenth of an acre and located seven miles north of Jackson on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. It was controlled the same day due to favorable conditions and a quick response. Please help in preventing unnecessary fires.

The Teton Interagency Fire Area is currently under “moderate” fire danger rating. A moderate fire danger rating means fires can start from most accidental causes. Unattended campfires and brush fires have potential to escape, especially on windy days in dry, open areas.

Despite the precipitation the area has received recently, conditions will rapidly return to receptive fuels with sun and windy conditions returning in the forecast. When determining fire danger, fire managers use several indicators such as the moisture content of grasses, shrubs, trees, and dead and downed materials; projected weather conditions including temperatures and possible wind events; the ability of fire to spread after ignition; and availability of firefighting resources both locally and nationally.

When enjoying a campfire, remember it should always remain attended and must be completely extinguished before leaving. Simply pouring water on the remains of a fire is not sufficient. The charred remains must be repeatedly doused with water and stirred into the campfire ring. All embers and logs, not just the red ones, should be broken up and covered with dirt. Before leaving the area, the campfire remains must be cold to the touch.

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