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Lightning Ignites Fires in Grand Teton NP & Bridger-Teton NF

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Date: August 29, 2011
Contact: Jackie Skaggs, 307.739.3393

August 29, 2011

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More than 6,700 lightning strikes were recorded Friday, August 26, through early Monday morning, August 29, in Grand Teton National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest and the surrounding area. Numerous strikes ignited at least three new fires in the park and four new fires on the forest. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received several smoke reports despite rain across much of the area on Sunday. Teton Interagency firefighters remain on alert for additional starts as weather conditions become breezy and drier.

On Friday afternoon, fire crews suppressed a lightning-ignited fire in Grand Teton National Park. The Preserve Fire began near the Moose-Wilson Road on the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve and firefighters suppressed it at one tenth of an acre. Fire crews also worked to extinguish the Murphy Fire on the Grey's River Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Visitors discovered that fire and attempted to put it out before reporting it to the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center.

Lightning from a sequence of storms on Saturday ignited an additional two new fires in Grand Teton National Park and three new fires on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Fire crews will monitor the Rockchuck and Burned Ridge fires, both of which started in the park. The Rockchuck Fire lies northwest of Jenny Lake and is burning in a small stand of conifers on Rockchuck Peak, about 1,000 feet below the summit ridge. Because it ignited in rocky, steep terrain surrounded by sparse vegetation, it has limited potential to spread; however, smoke is occasionally visible from some park locations. The Burned Ridge fire began in the duff and needle litter at the base of a single tree. It lies at the southern end of the Potholes, about a half mile east of the Teton Park Road in an area where the natural process of fire is considered a management priority. Spread potential for this fire is also limited due to sparse vegetation.

Crews from wildland fire engine of the Big Piney Ranger District on the Bridger-Teton National Forest are suppressing the Lime Fire, which may be visible from U.S. Highway 89. The Nowlin Fire, located in Nowlin Meadows within the Teton Wilderness on the Buffalo Ranger District, is 10 acres and burning in heavy dead timber with bug-killed trees. The tenth-acre Soda Fire is burning in similar fuels near the Nowlin Fire and began during the same storm. Fire managers flew these fires Sunday and will determine a management action plan.

Due to other fire activity in the area, the wildland engine crew from Moose suppressed the single-tree, lightning-ignited Sheep Creek Fire in the Curtis Canyon area of the Jackson Ranger District.

For local fire information, log on to http://www.tetonfires.com/. To report a fire call 307.739.3630.

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.