With the arrival of cooler temperatures and wetter weather on Wednesday, September 30, fire activity on the Bearpaw Bay Fire in Grand Teton National Park significantly decreased. Teton Interagency firefighters were able to successfully complete control actions on Tuesday to limit fire spread towards the east and into old-growth lodgepole pine forests. Fire personnel will continue to closely monitor the fire, especially the southeast flank, to ensure that it stays within the acceptable perimeter. The Bearpaw Bay Fire remains at 2,844 acres in size, and will again be primarily managed as a resource-benefit fire.
On Wednesday morning, firefighters from the Unified Fire Authority out of Salt Lake City and Teton Interagency fire personnel pulled fire hoses, pumps and other equipment from established fire lines and completed rehabilitation work on those lines in an effort to mitigate the potential impacts of recent fire suppression work. In addition, the Type I FireHawk helicopter, which provided air support during the past two days, was released to its home base in Boise, Idaho. One Teton Interagency fire engine will monitor ongoing fire activity into the weekend, or until further fire activity dictates.
The Spalding Bay Road, trail along the eastshore of Leigh Lake, backcountry campsites on Leigh, Bearpaw and Trapper lakes, and several lakeshore campsites along the west shore of Jackson Lake, will remain closed as a safety precaution until hazard trees (burned snags) can be removed.
Bearpaw Bay Fire
Started: August 30, 2009, by lightning
Estimated Size: 2,844 acres
Location: Approximately two miles northeast of North Jenny Lake Junction on the Teton Park Road, and west of Spalding Bay on Jackson Lake.
Overview: A lightning-caused fire, the Bearpaw Bay Fire began on August 30 and has been managed for resource benefits according to 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 late afternoon on September 25. It spread toward the Teton Park Road and the southern tip of Jackson Lake, causing fire managers to initiate suppression activities. The fire has remained within the approved area, and due to recent moisture, the fire is again being monitored and managed as a resource-benefit fire.
Recent Activity and Expectations: The Bearpaw Bay Fire will continue to burn until sufficient late season rain or snows extinguish it; however, recent moisture and cooler temperatures have reduced its activity.
Closures or Impacts to Visitors and Area Residents: The Spalding Bay Road, eastshore trail along Leigh Lake, backcountry campsites on Leigh, Bearpaw and Trapper lakes, and several lakeshore campsites along the west shore of Jackson Lake, all remain closed due to hazard trees and ongoing fire activity.
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.