Fire danger on public lands upped to ‘high’

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Fire danger has been increased to “High” for Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, National Elk Refuge, and the rest of the Teton Interagency Dispatch Area. Yellowstone National Park is expected to follow suit shortly.

Recent hot temperatures and regular afternoon winds have created dry forest conditions. With little to no forecasted rain in the coming weeks, fire activity is expected to increase. Three known wildfires have already started in the region this past week, with the Box Creek Fire remaining active in the Teton Wilderness.

A high fire danger rating means that fires can start easily and spread quickly. When determining fire danger, fire managers use several indicators such as the moisture content of grasses, shrubs, and trees; projected weather conditions including temperatures and possible wind events; the ability of fire to spread after ignition; and availability of firefighting resources locally and across the nation.

There are no fire restrictions currently in place, but it is important to be aware of the increased risk and take extra care when building campfires, parking on dry grass, or recreating outdoors.

Visitors and local residents are reminded that unattended or abandoned campfires can easily escalate into wildfires. Campers should be prepared with plenty of water and a shovel on hand.

So far this year, more than 83 abandoned campfires have already been reported in the Teton Interagency Dispatch area, according to officials.

As a reminder, simply pouring water on a fire is not sufficient. Most of the reported unattended fires found by fire personnel involve smoldering logs and white ash, which can easily spread embers when stirred by a breeze or gust of wind. Campers need to drown campfires with plenty of water and then stir the coals, repeating as necessary. Before leaving the area, the campfire should be cold to the touch. Campers need to be aware they could be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire.

Please visit the Teton Interagency Fire website at tetonfires.com to learn more about current fires, fire safety, and any fire regulations that may be in place. To report a fire or smoke, call the Teton Interagency Fire Dispatch Center at 307-739-3630.

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