Smoke covers the valley as fire season gets into full swing

JACKSON, Wyo. — You might have noticed a bright, red sun setting over the Tetons last night; an indication that smoke has engulfed the valley yet again.

Fortunately, the smoke is not coming from nearby fires. According to InciWeb, there are no fires currently in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), at least none that have been reported yet. One small Montana wildfire is just northeast of the GYE, another fire is raging near the Wyoming-Montana border, and Colorado is currently dealing with some of the worst wildfires they’ve had in years. Often times, smoke can even be blown in from further west. States like California and Idaho currently have several large fires that can contribute to a smokey Jackson Hole.

Smoke map shows smoke rolling into Wyoming from the west. Photo: fire.airnow.gov

With hot temperatures and dry precipitation this time of year, it isn’t uncommon to have some smoke roll into the valley. If you are outside and doing physical activities, remember that heavy breathing may be harmful, especially if you can smell the smoke.

A red, smokey sunset over the Tetons on Aug. 19, 2020. Photo: Jacob Gore // Buckrail

Currently, the fire danger in Jackson Hole is “Very High”. 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 start, available staffing to respond to an emergency or fire, and the general amount of activity on public lands are considered.

Teton Interagency Fire personnel have extinguished 179 unattended or abandoned campfires so far this summer. Abandoned campfires can quickly escalate into wildfires.

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.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Jacob

Jacob Gore was born and raised in Cheyenne, the capital city of Wyoming. As a proud Wyomingite, he loves to share his home with visitors from around the world. Spending years in Jackson and Alaska as an interpretive nature guide, he remains a photographer, traveler, storyteller, and avid hobbyist of all-things outdoors. Jacob enjoys bridging the connection between Jackson and the rest of the state.

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