Lightning ignites several fires on Bridger-Teton
September 17, 2007
Bridger-Teton National Forest firefighters were busy throughout the weekend battling several lighting-caused fires that were ignited throughout the Forest.
Grouse Fire: Located roughly 21 miles southeast of Moran, Wyoming. Discovered and contained on Saturday, September 15 at 1/10 of an acre.
McMichael 1 Fire: Located and contained at 1/4 of an acre approximately 3 miles from the Grouse fire on Sunday, September 16.
McMichael 2 Fire: In the same general area as McMichael 1. Discovered and contained simultaneously at 1/10 of an acre in McMichael Draw.
Dutch Joe Fire: Discovered and contained on Sunday, September 16th, at 1/10 of acre 34 miles southeast of Boulder, Wyoming near the Dutch Joe Guard Station at the southern end of the Wind River Range.
Corral Fire: Reported early on the Monday, September 17th, 5 miles northeast of Etna, Wyoming. Firefighters located and contained it at Ό of an acre.
Dry Beaver Fire: Discovered Monday, September 17, and contained at 1 acre. Located on the Big Piney Ranger District, just northeast of Merna, Wyoming.
Tanner Fire: This fire started on Sunday, burning east of North Mountain and north of South Piney Creek Road, west of Big Piney in the Wyoming Range. It is burning in trees and brush on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. Firefighters from Big Piney, Daniel, Boulder and Pinedale volunteer fire departments assisted with this blaze. It is estimated around 100 acres and was still putting up some smoke as of the time of this report. Cause is still undetermined, but it was noted that there was a lot of lightning in the area around the time of the start.
These small lightning fires are evidence that fuels are dry enough to burn and our fire fighting resources are being stretched by suppressing these multiple starts, said Bridger-Teton Fire Prevention Education Specialist Nan Stinson. "It is very possible that our firefighting resources could become overloaded if human-caused fires were to start occurring," she commented.
Unattended or abandoned campfires, cooking and warming fires cause many fires each year on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The Forest asks that all users consider the following when building a campfire:
Clear a campfire site down to bare soil.
Build a fire ring out of rocks. Keep the fire less than four feet in diameter with ten feet or more clearance around it.
Build the fire away from overhanging branches, steep slopes and dry grass.
Never leave a campfire unattended. Even a small breeze can cause a fire to spread rapidly.
Keep a bucket of water and a shovel near the campfire.
When putting a campfire out, drown it with water. Stir the fire with additional water and dirt until all the ashes are cold. Never leave a fire until it is out cold.
Campers are also asked to be careful with smoking materials, gas lanterns, barbecues, gas stoves and anything else that can be a source of ignition for a wildfire.
Fire Danger is rated as Moderate on the Bridger-Teton National Forest and there are no campfire restrictions currently in effect. "The timber is very dry," said Justin Kaber, Acting Assistant Fire Management Officer for the Bridger-Teton. "We want to reiterate to folks to be very careful with campfires. There are no fire rrestrictions at this time, and we'd like to keep it that way so folks can continue to enjoy campfires."
Nan Stinson added, "If folks have warming fires, keep it small and put it out before you move on. Be sure to extinguish it before going out to hunt."