Closure Orders still in effect for Bridger-Teton Fires
August 29, 2007
Firefighters are still working on putting out hot spots on several large fires on the Bridger-Teton that were ignited early this summer.
The Hardscrabble Fire 30-miles west of Dubois, Wyoming was contained at 3074 acres last week. According to Jackson District Ranger Dale Deiter, the area closure around the Hardscrabble Fire is still in effect and likely will not be downsized until September 10th. “Our first concern is public safety and we need to keep the fire area clear for the firefighters to get their job done,” said Deiter. The Bridger-Teton is hoping to downsize the closure area of the Hardscrabble Fire to only include the perimeter of the fire sometime in September, which would allow horses and foot traffic on the roads and trails in that area. “We will modify the closure order as soon as it is safe to do so and we will get the word out right away,” he said.
The Granite Fire, 15-miles southeast of Jackson, Wyoming has been burning since July 19th. The fire is only 40 percent contained and has burned 1742 acres. Firefighters have been monitoring the fire and have structure protection and sprinkler systems set up at the Granite Hot Springs facilities. The Bridger-Teton spent the last week working on removing hazardous trees that were burned and overhanging the Granite Creek Trail. The Granite Creek trail has been closed since the fire began due to the erratic fire activity. Because the trail winds through the Gros Ventre Wilderness, the Forest cannot use chainsaws to drop the dangerous trees. Workers have instead been working with fire-line explosives to aid in clearing the trail from these dangerous snags. In addition, firefighters are continuing to watch the fire during this drying period and insuring that the facilities in the Granite Creek drainage remain safe. “We will have to see how active the fire is and if the north end is secure enough to allow visitors to return to the area,” remarked Deiter. “We should have a better idea by the end of the week, but until then, the closure order is still in effect in order to protect the public,” he said.
The Middle Fire, 10–miles southeast of Alpine, Wyoming was contained last week at 2721 acres. The closure order for the Middle fire has been modified to only include the burned area of the fire. Firefighters are raking through ashes and stumps within the fire perimeter to make sure the hot spots are totally extinguished and will not rekindle in a strong breeze.
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Bridger-Teton National Forest