September 26, 2009
12:45 p.m. (MDT)
Teton Interagency firefighters began fire suppression activities on the southeast flank of the Bearpaw Bay Fire in Grand Teton National Park on Saturday morning, September 26, after brisk northwest winds on Friday evening pushed the fire 1.5 miles south toward the Teton Park Road. The Bearpaw Bay Fire has grown from 130 acres to about 350 acres in the past 24 hours.
Fire management officers called for one medium helicopter (300-gallon capacity) and two heavy helicopters (700-gallon capacity) to make water bucket drops on the southeast segment of the Bearpaw Bay Fire early Saturday. In addition to water-drops, four fire engines are patrolling the Teton Park Road to extinguish any spot fires that might occur with afternoon heating and increased winds. A Type II fire crew will arrive mid-day and begin to establish fire lines around the southeast perimeter of the fire. Weather forecasts call for brisk afternoon winds of 20- mph out of the southwest on Saturday with similar conditions predicted for Sunday, September 27.
A temporary closure of the Teton Park Road was imposed as a safety precaution due to heavy smoke for an hour on Friday evening. The eastshore trail along Leigh Lake is closed due to the proximity of the fire, as are several backcountry campsites on Leigh, Bearpaw and Trapper lakes, and the lakeshore campsites in the Spalding Bay area of Jackson Lake.
Heavy smoke has blanketed the Jackson Hole valley during the last few days because of fires in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, as well as prescribed burns on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Individuals with impaired respiratory conditions and young children are advised to stay indoors to reduce exposure to smoke. People should avoid exercise or physical exertion during the next two days while heavy smoke remains.
Bearpaw Bay Fire
Started: August 30, 2009
Estimated Size: 350+ acres
Location: Approximately two miles northeast of North Jenny Lake Junction on the Teton Park Road, and southeast of Bearpaw Bay on Jackson Lake.
Overview: The Bearpaw Bay Fire is a lightning-caused fire that began on August 30, and has been managed for resource benefits according the park’s fire management plan. The fire was burning primarily in the 1981 Mystic Isle Fire area, but moved into old growth lodgepole forest yesterday. It has remained within the approved area for a resource-benefit fire. Firefighters are suppressing the southeast flank, near the west shore of Spalding Bay, with an objective to limit any further spread to the east.
Recent Activity and Expectations: The Bearpaw Bay Fire has grown from 130 acres to about 350 acres in the past 24 hours. Weather forecasts call for increased winds out of the south/southwest on Saturday and Sunday.
Closures or Impacts to Visitors and Area Residents: The eastshore trail along Leigh Lake is closed due to the proximity of the fire, as are several backcountry campsites on Leigh, Bearpaw and Trapper lakes, and the lakeshore campsites in the Spalding Bay area of Jackson Lake. The Teton Park Road may be closed as conditions warrant during Saturday and Sunday.
Fire Updates: For current fire information, go to http://www.tetonfires.com/ or visit the Teton Interagency Fire Web site at http://gacc.nifc.gov/egbc/dispatch/wy-tdc/index.html. For a map of the Bearpaw Bay Fire go to http://gacc.nifc.gov/egbc/dispatch/wy-tdc/information/current-fires/index.html.