By Staff 8-26,2015
Teton Interagency fire managers have elevated the fire danger rating to High for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and Teton Interagency Dispatch Area. The potential for fire activity has increased due to drying vegetation combined with higher temperatures, low humidity and brisk afternoon winds.
A high fire danger rating means that fires can start easily and spread quickly. When determining fire danger, fire managers use several indicators such as 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.
The regional fire preparedness level has been elevated to the highest level of five as of today, August 25, and the national preparedness level has been at five since August 13. There are five levels of preparedness typically used at a regional and national level. The National Multi-Agency Coordination Group establishes preparedness levels throughout the calendar year to help assure that firefighting resources are ready to respond to new fire incidents.
As the preparedness levels rise, more federal and state employees become available for fire mobilization if needed. However, higher preparedness levels also mean that nearly all fire resources are in use. The current level of fire preparedness has not occurred since 2007.
To help promote fire prevention efforts, campers and day users should never leave a fire unattended, and always have a shovel on hand and a water bucket ready for use. All campfires must be completely extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving a site.
Campers have abandoned 105 campfires on the Bridger-Teton National Forest and in Grand Teton National Park so far this summer. Campers should be mindful that they could be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire. Local residents and area visitors are reminded to “know the risks,” exercise caution and practice heightened fire safety at all times.
To report a fire or smoke in Bridger-Teton National Forest or Grand Teton National Park, call the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307.739.3630. For more fire information, please visit www.tetonfires.com.