Natural forces take center stage in yesterday’s wildland fire

JACKSON, WY — Mother nature is a force to be reckoned with.

The photos below tell quite the story. It was weather that started yesterday’s wildfire on the butte just north of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and it was weather that helped put it out.

Teton County PIO Kristin Waters confirmed this morning that the fire was caused by a lightning strike. High, shifting winds allowed the flames to spread rapidly and burn approximately 80 acres of brush and grass, just skirting the museum. The same force of nature also poured rain on the fire, giving firefighters the edge they needed to douse the flames and contain the fire.

The hero’s of that day were the hard working fire fighters and emergency personnel from multiple agencies all working together to coordinate a swift response to contain the fire. Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS, National Elk Refuge, and the Teton County Sheriff’s Office all worked together in an impressive feat of coordination and communication. Agencies also deployed two helicopters and a tanker. Thanks to everyone’s swift and efficient response, no structures were damaged and no one was injured.

Then, nature delivered the grand finale: a double rainbow shone across the sky as the smoke and clouds cleared.

A visual story in four parts:

The culprit: a lightning strike. Photo: Kevin Keating
The wildland fire burning just north of the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Photo: Kyle Jennings
Helicopter dumping water on the blaze. Photo: Kyle Jennings
A wall of rain approaches the fire. Photo: Lauren McClees
The grand finale a double rainbow. Photo: Lauren McClees
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