Teton interagency fire personnel responded to a report of a small fire in Grand Teton National Park on Saturday, August 16. The human-caused Trail Fire, located approximately 300 feet west of the one-way Jenny Lake scenic drive, was reported shortly after 12 p.m. by Jenny Lake Lodge staff. The fire was burning a single tree and nearby brush, with short-range spotting in dead and downed litter. Because it was human-caused, the 1/10-acre fire was suppressed.
Two park rangers and five firefighters with two wildland fire engines joined the Lodge staff—who had initially responded to the fire with shovels and fire extinguishers—at the scene and continued fire suppression activities. The fire was contained on Saturday at 2:45 p.m., and it is expected to be declared out on Sunday, August 17.
The Trail Fire was apparently ignited by a cigarette from a smoker or smokers using an undeveloped trail in the String Lake/Jenny Lake Lodge area. The fire burned in an area that had undergone a fuel-reduction treatment as well as a previous wildfire, which had reduced fuels in the area.
After several weeks of Very High fire danger, Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest have changed the fire danger rating to High. However, the Trail Fire offers a reminder that lower-elevation forests and sagebrush flats remain drier than normal this year. Continued dry weather is expected for August, and visitors are reminded to be cautious when building campfires. In Grand Teton National Park, campfires are only allowed in fire grates within frontcountry campgrounds and in established fire rings at some designated backcountry lakeshore campsites. Unattended or abandoned campfires can escalate into wildland fires, and it is extremely important that all campfires are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before campers leave the site. Visitors should never leave a fire unattended, and should prepare for the unexpected by having a water bucket and shovel on hand and ready to use.
To report either smoke or a fire, please call 307.739.3630. For further information about fires in the greater Jackson Hole area, please contact Bridger-Teton National Forest at 307.739.5500 or visit www.tetonfires.com.