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Fire Danger Has Increased to Very High

The following is a release from the Bridger-Teton National Forest

Western Wyo., June 23, 2021—The fire danger rating has been elevated to very high for Grand Teton National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest, and the National Elk Refuge. Conditions in the Teton Interagency area are drying rapidly, and a fire may start easily, spread quickly and burn intensely. Everyone is asked to practice heightened fire safety at all times.

As the Independence Day holiday approaches, visitors and local residents alike are reminded that fireworks are not permitted in Grand Teton National Park, on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, or within the National Elk Refuge. The use of fireworks is illegal in Teton County unless permitted through the special-event process through either the Town of Jackson or Teton County. These fireworks regulations play a critical role in fire prevention.

Teton Interagency Fire personnel have extinguished 52 unattended or abandoned campfires so far this year, that is compared to 18 at this time in 2020. Abandoned campfires can quickly escalate into wildfires. Where campfires are allowed, it is extremely important that they are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before campers leave their site. If visitors choose to have a fire they should ensure that they are prepared with plenty of water to douse, stir, feel, and repeat until the area is cold to the touch. Visitors should never leave a fire unattended and can be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire. During times of elevated fire danger, a campfire is not encouraged.

Fire managers use a variety of factors to determine fire danger ratings including the moisture content of grasses, shrubs and trees, projected weather conditions (including temperatures and possible wind events), and the ability of fire to spread after ignition.

The National Weather Service has indicated that hot and dry conditions will persist as the dominant trend in the coming weeks. These above average conditions have stressed vegetation in the local area, accelerating seasonal drying. They have combined to increase the potential for fire activity across the Teton Interagency Fire area.

With the extraordinary number of visitors in the area is it vital that everyone remain vigilant and have a plan. Be prepared with water and a shovel to extinguish your campfire. Do not park on tall grass as that grass can ignite when in contact with a hot vehicle. If trailering, ensure that your chains are clear of the ground as small sparks could start roadside fires. If you come across an abandoned campfire and it is within your power, please put it out and contact Teton Interagency Dispatch to report its location.

Visit the Teton Interagency Fire web site at www.tetonfires.com to learn more about fire safety and what fire regulations may be in place. To report a fire or smoke in the immediate area, call the Teton Interagency Fire Dispatch Center at 307.739.3630.

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