Jackson, WY, August 15, 2017 – Partial fire restrictions will be going into effect for Teton County tomorrow, August 16th. The restrictions are based in part on the current high fire danger and predictions of continued warm and dry weather. Other significant factors include increased visitation to the area during the upcoming total solar eclipse and current regional and national fire activity.
While portions of the valley have experienced recent rain, the prevalence of heavy grass growth this spring and summer, along with the predicted increase in human activity on private and public lands during the days before and after the August 21steclipse, have prompted Teton County to go into fire restrictions.
“Even with the recent rains,” noted Interim Chief Mike Moyer, “grasses dry quickly and ignite easily.” Parked cars with hot exhaust systems and the use of camp fires are two main concerns for wildland fire starts. “The combination of the dry grasses, increased eclipse visitation to the area, and the fact that regional and national fire resources are stretched thin, all make it necessary to exercise caution,” Moyer continued. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center has recorded over 73 unattended campfires so far this summer.
Fire officials ask the public to take the fire danger seriously and obey the restrictions in place. Fireworks are prohibited in Teton County at all times of the year. During this restriction, there can be no pile burning in Teton County. Camp fires are allowed only in established fire rings in established camp grounds. The use of listed home fire pits and bowls are permitted so long as used with a screen spark arrester having holes no larger than ¼ inch opening and with a hose with running water and/or hand tools. A cleared area of at least ten foot radius is required for branding activities and the use of acetylene or electric arc cutting torches. For a complete set of restriction rules, go to www.tetonwyo.org/fire.
Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, Bureau of Land Management High Desert District, the National Elk Refuge, and Sublette Counties will also begin fire restrictions this week.
By Kathryn Brackenridge