Partial Fire Restrictions remain in effect for both Bridger-Teton National Forest and Grand Teton National Park, and carry a hefty fine for those who don’t comply. Forest Spokesperson Mary Cernicek says violations of the prohibitions are punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization and even a possible jail term in excess of six months. Cernicek says the restrictions include:
- Lighting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, barbecue or grill is allowed only at designated recreation sites such as established campgrounds or picnic areas. Use of portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel, or use of a fully enclosed sheepherder type stove with a spark arrester screen is permitted.
- Smoking is allowed only in an enclosed vehicle, building (unless otherwise prohibited), developed recreation site, or while in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials (i.e. parking lots, developed campsites, or locations surrounded by water).
- Operating a chainsaw is prohibited in national parks. Operating a chainsaw on national forest lands is permitted only when equipped with a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester that is properly installed and in effective working order. Operators must also carry a fire extinguisher and a shovel.
- Discharge of fireworks and use of explosives requiring blasting caps are prohibited.
- Welding is prohibited in national parks. For national forest locations, welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame is only allowed in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter. A fire extinguisher must be at the location.
Additionally, Cernicek says visitors should never leave a fire unattended and need to keep water and a shovel handy. Unattended or 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.
The National Elk Refuge 2012 bison hunting season begins Wednesday and continues through January 6th. The season is comprised of 11 hunt periods of varying length, similar to last year’s season, and incorporates two week-long breaks of non-disturbance. Bison hunting licenses are issued by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department with Refuge-specific bison permit required which is accompanied with the State license. Meanwhile, elk season will run from October 6th through December 16th and also consist of 11 hunt periods, but with no breaks. Persons interested in hunting elk may begin applying for Refuge-specific permits beginning Tuesday. The bison and elk hunts are used by wildlife managers as a tool to achieve herd objectives cooperatively set by the National Elk Refuge, Grand Teton National Park and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.