Prime fire conditions this weekend

JACKSON, WY – It’s almost Labor Day weekend, and plenty of people will be heading outside.

But dry, hot, and breezy weather in the forecast makes for ideal fire conditions. Teton Interagency Fire is reminding everyone to be extra cautious this weekend.

Western Wyoming federal, state, and county fire managers are meeting weekly to discuss fire conditions, review staffing levels, and review the need for additional fire restrictions. Based on current conditions, it has been decided that no additional fire restrictions will be placed on western Wyoming county and federal lands for the coming weekend. Conditions do, however, warrant extra caution.

Fire managers consider a number of indicators when determining fire danger ratings and the need for fire restrictions. These indicators include long-term weather forecasts, and dryness of fuels encompassing everything from grasses to larger diameter trees. Additionally, recent trends in the number of natural and human caused fire starts, available staffing to respond to an emergency or fire, and the general amount of activity on public lands are considered. Tyko Isaacson, Acting Assistant Fire Management Officer for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, summarized, “We are likely seeing hot, dry, windy conditions this weekend. Grasses and trees are fairly dry in higher elevations, and very dry in the lower elevations and valleys. We will see a big increase in recreation on public lands over the weekend, and hunting season is just around the corner. Land managers feel ready for the weekend, and have requested extra patrollers to help keep everyone safe out there.”

Recreationists are asked to take extra care with fire while outdoors this weekend. While we are not in fire restrictions, please consider following restriction guidelines anyway. Stage I fire restrictions prohibit people from building campfires outside of developed recreation sites, smoking outside of an enclosed vehicle or 3’ x 3’ area cleared of flammable materials, and operating engines without spark arrestors. Additionally, please use caution driving or parking on dry grasses, operating and refueling chainsaws, and shooting. If you choose to have a fire, all campfires and warming fires must be completely extinguished. Stir ashes and coals with plenty of water until no heat remains. To date, there have been 119 campfires left burning in the Teton Interagency Dispatch Area. Grand Teton National Park’s Chip Collins shared, “Our goal is to only use restrictions to manage human activities when absolutely necessary to protect both people and public lands. For the most part, people are very responsible and willing to accommodate conditions.”

To learn more about local fires and fire prevention strategies visit www.tetonfires.com. To report a wildfire, please call Teton Interagency Fire Dispatch at 307-739-3630.

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