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County Passes Fire Restrictions-Fireworks Shows Up in the Air

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A partial fire closure goes into effect in Teton County on Tuesday morning. Town and County officials adopted the restrictions at a meeting on Monday afternoon where Fire Chief Willy  Watsabaugh told them that the high fire danger and a lack of available firefighting resources prompted the move.

Watsabaugh explained that the annual planned fireworks shows in town and in Teton Village are held with a special use permit and that a decision will be made on potentially canceling those events after more fuel samples are collected. Teton Village has fireworks scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday with the traditional fireworks show is scheduled for Wednesday at Snow King.

Watsabaugh said that recent fuel samples did not look very good.

The partial fire closure affects all public and private lands in Teton County and prohibits:

1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using any campfire, except within established campfire grates or rings, which are not less than 25 feet from structures or brush or tree covered areas. Open burning of trash, grass, brush or tree cuttings, and construction debris is prohibited. The use of enclosed stoves or grills or stoves using liquid or gas fuels is not restricted.

2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

3. Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arresting device properly installed and in effective working order, and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.

4. Using a welder, either arc or gas, or operating an acetylene or other torch, or open flame device, except in cleared areas at least 10 feet in diameter and with a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A.

5. Using explosive devices requiring fuse blasting caps, tracer bullets or tracer charges, or rockets or model aircraft using propellant type engines.

Fireworks for personal use have been banned in Teton County since the early 1990’s. The restrictions go into effect tomorrow morning at 6.

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