Fire danger down to moderate

Western Wyo. – The fire danger rating for Grand Teton National Park, National Elk Refuge, and Bridger-Teton National Forest lands has decreased to moderate following recent rainfall and cooler temperatures.

A moderate fire danger rating does not mean that people should let their guard down. This time of year frost starts to kill summer’s grasses and wildflowers, creating more light-cured fuels to carry fire. Larger-diameter fuels remain dry throughout the fall season. Additionally, with fall comes the arrival of hunting season and an increase in both front country and backcountry use on public lands. People hunting and recreating on public lands will want to have warming fires and campfires with the cooler overnight temperatures.

Officials ask the public to help to prevent wildfires by not having a fire at all. Dress for success with layers and warm clothes. If you choose to have a fire, keep your fire small. Be present with your fire at all times, and have a plan for putting your fire out before lighting it.

Campfires and warming fires must be completely extinguished. This means pouring a lot of water on the fire, stirring the coals and ashes into a thick muddy soup, mixing the white ash from the fire’s edges into the water, and then feeling for heat. Repeat this process until no heat remains. Use your hand to feel the center, the big pieces, and the edges for heat. Consider not having a fire if you don’t have a shovel and water, if there is not an established fire ring, there is not an area of bare mineral soil free of flammable materials, or if there are winds to carry sparks.

To date, 146 campfires have been abandoned or left unattended in the Teton Interagency Dispatch area. This count was 119 at the end of August, meaning that 27 campfires have been left burning in this area in the past 12 days.

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