CASPER, Wyo. — Lightning started a fire in Grand Teton National Park on Tuesday evening, Teton Interagency Fire managers said in a press release Wednesday.
Firefighters will work to suppress the fire on Wednesday morning, and the fire could be visible southwest of Glacier View Turnout.
Another fire was also discovered on Tuesday burning in timber on the Bridger-Teton National Forest’s Big Piney Ranger District. That fire is being called the “Sandy Fire” and has burned about 15 acres, according to the joint press release from the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Fire danger was elevated to moderate on Wednesday for Grand Teton National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest and the National Elk Refuge, the interagency press release said. Fire danger was raised to moderate in Yellowstone National Park on Monday, according to an earlier press release from the NPS.
The potential for fire activity has increased in the area due to summer drying of vegetation and warm, windy conditions.
“A moderate fire danger rating means fires can start from most accidental causes,” the Teton Interagency Fire press release said. “Unattended campfires and brush fires have potential to escape, especially on windy days, in dry, open areas.
“When determining fire danger, fire managers use several indicators such as the moisture content of grasses, shrubs, trees, and dead and downed materials; projected weather conditions including temperatures and possible wind events; the ability of fire to spread after ignition; and availability of firefighting resources both locally and nationally.”
With July 4 approaching, the press releases reminded visitors and residents that fireworks are not allowed in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the National Elk Refuge or in Sublette or Teton Counties, Wyoming.
People should also ensure campfires are cold to the touch before leaving a campsite, which requires several gallons of water and not just a single bottle, Teton Interagency Fire said.
“The process requires you to soak the campfire, stir the ashes, feel for heat, and to repeat the process until no heat remains,” the release said. “When enjoying a campfire, remember it should always remain attended and must be completely extinguished before leaving. Simply pouring water on the remains of a fire is not sufficient. The charred remains must be repeatedly doused with water and stirred into the campfire ring. All embers and logs, not just the red ones, should be broken up and covered with dirt. Before leaving the area, the campfire remains must be cold to the touch.
“Visit the Teton Interagency Fire website at TetonFires.com to learn more about fire safety and what fire regulations may be in place. To report a fire or smoke in the immediate area, call the Teton Interagency Fire Dispatch Center at 307.739.3630.”
The Yellowstone press release from Monday included the following points:
• The parkwide fire danger level for Yellowstone is now moderate.
• Currently, there are no active wildland fires in the park.
• Currently, there are no fire restrictions in place or planned in the park.
• Campfires are only permitted within established fire rings in campgrounds and some backcountry campsites.
• Campfires must always be attended and cold to the touch before abandoning. Soak, stir, feel, repeat.
• The Greater Yellowstone area is a fire-adapted ecosystem. Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of this area’s wildlife habitat and vegetation.
• Stay informed about current fire activity in Yellowstone.NPS