Fire Danger raised to Very High
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
August 20, 2013
Teton Interagency Fire managers announce that the fire danger rating has been elevated to ‘Very High’ for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park and National Elk Refuge as of Tuesday, August 20, 2013. With exceptionally dry conditions, local residents and visitors alike should practice heightened fire safety at all times.
When determining fire danger ratings, fire officials evaluate several factors 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 fire-fighting resources. A fire danger rating of ‘Very High’ means that fires can start easily, spread quickly and burn intensely.
Recent hot temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions have combined to increase the potential for intense fire activity across the Teton Interagency fire area. In addition, the fire preparedness level is listed as 5—the highest level—both nationally and for the Eastern Great Basin fire region which is the region covering the Greater Yellowstone Area. Preparedness level 5 means that firefighting resources are concentrated at numerous large fires, and therefore limited for any new fire starts in the region.
Teton Interagency fire personnel have extinguished a near record number of 125 unattended or abandoned campfires this summer. Abandoned campfires can quickly escalate into wildfires, and it is extremely important that all campfires are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before campers leave their site. Visitors should never leave a fire unattended. The fine for an abandoned campfire is $225, but campers can also be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire.
To report a fire or smoke, call Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307-739-3630. For additional fire information, visit online at www.tetonfires.com.