MOOSE, Wyo. — Despite recent monsoon moisture bringing current fire danger down to high, forecasted warm and dry conditions over the next two months mean fire restrictions will remain in place.
The area remains in moderate to severe drought conditions with temperature and precipitation outlooks for drier and warmer than normal conditions through the remainder of the summer. Analyses and outlooks indicate significant wildland fire potential exists through September in the greater Teton Interagency Dispatch area.
Precipitation over the last couple of weeks was very sporadic. Some locations received well over an inch of rain while other areas only received a quarter inch. Going into this monsoonal moisture pattern fuels were at critical levels and some remain significantly drier than average. With warm and dry weather expected by next week fuels conditions will quickly rebound to previous levels. Visitors to public lands are reminded that fire restrictions are in place and responsible fire behavior is critically important through August and September.
- Lighting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, barbeque or grill is allowed only at designated recreation sites such as established campgrounds or picnic areas. Use of portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel, or use of a fully enclosed sheepherder type stove with a spark arrester screen is permitted.
- Smoking is allowed only in an enclosed vehicle, building (unless otherwise prohibited), developed recreation site, or while in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials ( parking lots, developed campsites, or locations surrounded by water).
- Year-round, operating a chainsaw is prohibited in national parks and on the wildlife refuge. Operating a chainsaw on national forest lands is permitted only when equipped with a USDA or SAE approved spark arrestor that is properly installed and in effective working order. Operators must also carry a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
- Discharge of fireworks and use of explosives requiring blasting caps are prohibited.
- Charcoal burning fires are only allowed in official campgrounds and picnic areas.
- Stoves and grills that burn contained fuel sources that can be turned off and on are allowed. Stoves and grills must be attended to at all times and be setup on hardened surfaces devoid of vegetation at least three feet in diameter.
There have been more than 150 illegal and abandoned campfires in the Teton Interagency Fire area to date for this year. Unattended or abandoned campfires can quickly escalate into wildfires, and it is extremely important that all campfires are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving a campfire. The easiest way to avoid an escaped campfire is to choose not to have one. Come prepared with warm layers and easy-to-cook food. If you choose to build a fire in an approved location, never leave a fire unattended and always prepare for the unexpected by having a water bucket and shovel on hand and ready to use.
For additional information on restrictions and allowable stoves, and to learn more about fire safety, visit TetonFires.com. To report a fire or smoke in the immediate area call the Teton Interagency Fire Dispatch Center at 307-739-3630.