July 20, 2010
Teton Interagency fire managers elevated the fire danger rating to “high” for Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest as of Tuesday, July 20. Drying and cured vegetation—combined with a rise in daily temperatures, lower humidity, and breezy afternoon winds—has increased the potential for fire activity in the region.
In other fire news, the Cathedral Group Fire in Grand Teton National Park was declared controlled as of Monday, July 19. The 46-acre fire will be monitored for hotspots until fire managers can declare it to be out.
When determining fire danger ratings, fire managers use several indices such as, the moisture content of grasses, shrubs and trees, projected weather conditions (including temperatures and possible wind events), the ability of fire to spread after ignition, and the availability of firefighting resources across the country. A high fire danger rating means that fires can start easily and spread quickly.
Local residents and visitors alike should exercise an extra measure of caution and practice heightened fire safety at all times—responsible steps include making sure that a campfire is thoroughly extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving a campsite.
Unattended or abandoned campfires can quickly escalate into wildfires. So far this summer, campers have carelessly abandoned 54 campfires in the Teton Interagency area. The fine for an abandoned campfire is significant, and campers can also be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire. Visitors should never leave a fire unattended, and should prepare for the unexpected by having a water bucket and shovel on hand.
To report a fire or smoke in either area, call Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307.739.3630. For more fire information, please visit the Web at http://gacc.nifc.gov/egbc/dispatch/wy-tdc/index.html or www.tetonfires.com, or follow GrandTetonNPS or BridgerTetonNF on Twitter.