• The Cathedral Group from the Teton Park Road

    Grand Teton

    National Park Wyoming

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  • Bears are active in Grand Teton

    Black and grizzly bears are roaming throughout the park--near roads, trails and in backcountry areas. Hikers and backcountry users are advised to travel in groups of three or more, make noise and carry bear spray. Visitors must stay 100 yards from bears. More »

  • Area closure in the area around Baxter's Pinnacle

    An area closure is in effect around Baxter's Pinnacle to protect nesting peregrine falcons. This closure precludes any climbs of Baxter's Pinnacle and usage of the walk-off gully. This closure will be in effect through 8-15-2013. More »

Phelps Moraine Prescribed Fire Slated for September 29

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Date: September 23, 2011
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3431

Teton Interagency Fire personnel will conduct an 84-acre prescribed fire on the Phelps Lake moraine just west of Death Canyon Road in Grand Teton National Park. The goal is to augment a mechanical treatment project completed in 2008. The burn is planned for September 29-October 2, conditions permitting. 

For safety reasons, the Death Canyon access road and trailhead parking area will be closed from Thursday, September 29 through Monday, October 3. The Death Canyon trail and Phelps Lake Overlook will be accessible via the Valley Trail or the  Laurance Rockefeller Preserve trail system. Please check for updates on closures and other fire news at www.tetonfires.com.  

Planning for a prescribed burn can take several years, and fire managers work with resource management personnel to develop and write a "prescription" that includes not only the desired treatment but also parameters for wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and fuel moisture in live and dead burnable vegetation. These plans also outline the types and numbers of resources (staff and equipment) needed to safely conduct each burn and support contingency plans. 

The primary fire management goal for Grand Teton National Park is to allow the natural process of fire to exist within the park while protecting lives and property. The intent of the Phelps Moraine prescribed fire is to reduce burnable live and dead vegetation, which should provide higher confidence and more flexibility in managing naturally ignited fires. Since 1960, eight wildfires have started in the 1,300-acre Phelps Moraine project area, but none grew larger than a tenth of an acre. Fire managers chose to aggressively suppress those fires because of the potential for them to spread toward developed areas, including private residences. 

The combined Phelps Moraine mechanical treatment project and prescribed fire will create a buffer between a wildfire and developed areas, providing agency administrators with future opportunities to allow fire to naturally affect the ecosystem.

Did You Know?

Pika with a mouth full of grass

Did you know that pikas harvest grasses so they can survive the long cold winter? These small members of the rabbit family do not hibernate, but instead store their harvest as “haystacks” under rocks in the alpine environment.