Fire Restrictions Still in Effect
Incident: Fontenelle Fire Wildfire
Jackson, Wyo. - Fall is here and with it hunting season. The Bridger-Teton National Forest reminds the public, including hunters, to use extreme caution and be aware that fire restrictions are in place on all public lands.
"I just can't stress enough how serious the fire danger is right now" said Mary Cernicek, Public Affairs Officer for the Bridger-Teton. "With the fires we currently have going on the Forest, we just don't have the resources to spare if another fire starts" The Teton Interagency Fire area has seven uncontrolled fires; the Forest Park - 41 acres, Garnet - 1/10 acre, Horsethief Canyon - 2918 acres, North Buffalo - 17,656 acres, Butte Creek - 1510 acres, Bear Cub - 6500 acres, and Fontenelle - 64220 acres.
Fires are not allowed on public lands except in pre-designated campgrounds or picnic areas. "Campers may see a rock ring in a dispersed campsite along the road and think it is developed or designated and they can have a fire. We have a specific list of locations on Forest where fires and charcoal are allowed. If a campsite is not on the list, fires are not allowed. Period" Cernicek stressed. A list of designated sites is posted on the Tetonfires website along with specific restriction information. "Basically, if you are not in a developed pay campground, you cannot have a fire."
"In addition, people need to be aware that there are area and trail closures associated with some of these uncontrolled wildfires, so visitors should check the web for details for the area they plan to go" said Cernicek. "Recreationists also need to be very aware if they are camping or hiking in recently burned areas because there are hazards associated with them," she said. Visitors should stay aware of the weather conditions when out on the Forest. Recreationists should also be mindful of the fire activities that are in the air and along the narrow Forest roads and trails. Other hazards are present in and around the burned areas including snags, or burned standing tress that could fall over, falling trees, and open flames. Other hazards include hot, smoldering and burning pockets of fuel, rolling rocks or debris, burned out stump holes, windblown ash and soot, and smoke which may reduce visibility and could lead to possible short fire runs.
Temperatures in the mornings are cooler so campers and backcountry users are urged to dress in layers and utilize propane heaters and prepare for sudden changes in weather.