Human caused fires burning on the Bridger-Teton
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
September 22, 2009
BIG PINEY – Several human caused fires on the Bridger-Teton National Forest have fire officials urging visitors of the Bridger-Teton to use extreme caution with campfires or warming fires when recreating on the Forest. Five human caused fires on the Big Piney Ranger District have demanded a large part of the Forest’s fire fighting resources since Wednesday, September 16.
The Long Hollow Fire was discovered on September 16 near Straight Creek. The human caused 1/10 acre blaze ignited from an abandoned warming fire. Suppression actions were taken and the fire was declared out later that same day. The Monument Fire was discovered in the Hoback area on September 18. The 1/10 acre fire was human caused from an abandoned warming fire. Suppression actions were taken and the fire was declared out September 19. The Kerr Fire was discovered near Ramshorn Peak on September 19. The 1/10 acre fire was human caused from an abandoned warming fire. Suppression actions are currently being taken. The Jack Fire was discovered in the Gros Ventre Wilderness on September 19 near the Jack Pine Summer Home area. The 1/10 acre fire is a human caused from an abandoned warming fire. Suppression actions are being taken on this fire as well. The Shoal Creek Fire was discovered in the Gros Ventre Wilderness on September 19 near the Jack Fire. The 1/10 acre fire is human caused from an abandoned warming fire. Suppression actions are also being taken here.
Warming fires differ a little bit from what many consider a traditional campfire. The Bridger-Teton finds that warming fires do not necessarily have a rock ring, nor are they typically built on a cleared surface free from debris and burnable materials. Many times, the warming fires are started in the very early morning hours when the ground may still be damp with morning dew. "the coolness of the morning or the dampness on the ground may cause some visitors to think that leaving these fires unattended poses little or no threat to the Forest, but the opposite is true," said Fire Prevention Technician Nan Stinson.
"As we’ve seen with these fires in the last 5-days on the Big Piney District, these fires are back in there a ways to where we can’t get our fire engines in to put them out," she said. "Initial attack of these human caused fires has to be with the specially trained helitack crews which comes with a steeper price tag than suppression from an engine crew," she said. "Sending a helicopter out to fight these fires can cost anywhere from $2000 to $3000 dollars and people can be held accountable for the cost of suppressing these fires," said Stinson. The Fire Danger on the Bridger-Teton is currently listed as "Moderate". To report a wildfire, call 911 or call the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 739-3630. For more information on the fires currently burning on the Bridger Teton visit www.tetonfires.com.