WESTERN WYOMING (KIFI) - Teton Interagency Fire managers have elevated the fire danger rating to "high" for Grand Teton National Park, the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the National Elk Refuge. A high fire danger rating means fires can start easily and spread quickly.
The weather forecast is for continued warmer temperatures and drier air, and visitors should not be deceived by how green and lush the landscape appears. Dead and downed timber and fine, dried vegetation will carry fire, and these conditions are expected to continue over the next several weeks.
When determining fire danger, fire managers use several indicators like 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 availability of firefighting resources across the country.
Recreationists can help prevent wildfires by not building a fire and instead, dressing in layers and warm clothes. If you must build a fire, fire managers advise using caution and only building a fire in areas where campfires are allowed. Fires should never be left unattended and must be completely extinguished before you leave the area. Anyone building a campfire should have a shovel on hand and a full water bucket ready for use. Soak, stir, feel, repeat. It is extremely important that all campfires are “dead out” and cold to the touch before leaving.
So far this year, there have been 22 illegal and abandoned campfires reported in the Teton Interagency Fire area. Warming fires that are left unattended or abandoned can quickly escalate into wildfires and recreationists may be held liable for suppression costs if it’s determined that their campfire became a wildfire.