Based upon a current fire danger rating of Very High and current predications of continued warm and dry weather, Teton Interagency fire managers announced today that partial fire restrictions will begin at 12:01am, Wednesday morning on August 3, 2016, for Grand Teton National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest and the High Desert District of the Bureau of Land Management. Teton County, Sublette County and Lincoln County, Wyoming will likely begin fire restrictions this week. The Big Horn National Forest in Wyoming implemented restrictions on July 29.
Fire managers study the moisture content of various fuel types, track current and expected weather conditions, and monitor available fire-fighting resources, as well as the occurrence of human-caused fires, to determine when fire restrictions need to be applied to public lands.
Partial fire 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).
The following restrictions exist year round:
- 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 chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
- Discharge of fireworks and use of explosives requiring blasting caps are prohibited.
Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, and/or by imprisonment for more than six months.
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. Visitors should NEVER leave a fire unattended, and should prepare for the unexpected by having a water bucket and shovel on hand and ready to use. The fine for an abandoned campfire as well as campfires in unapproved areas is up to $5000 or 6-months in jail, but campers can also be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire.
A copy of the order, and additional information on allowable stoves is available on www.tetonfires.com To report a fire or smoke in either area, call 307.739.3630.