Fire is a natural force that maintains healthy forests and wildlife habitats. However, Grand Teton National Park suppresses all human-caused fires (with the exception of pre-planned prescribed fires).
Park staff work to educate visitors to prevent human-caused fires, and visitors are asked to do their part—especially at times of elevated fire danger. Some important guidelines are listed below.
Building a Safe Campfire
- Build campfires in designated areas only.
- Do not build a fire near overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry grasses, and leaves.
- Be sure to fully extinguish the match you use to light the fire. Carefully feel the charred portion before discarding it.
- Keep your campfire small. A good bed of coals or a small fire in a fire ring gives plenty of heat.
- Never leave a campfire unattended, even for a moment! Even a small breeze could quickly cause a fire to spread.
- Never leave children alone with a campfire—always have adult supervision.
- Be careful with gas lanterns, barbeque grills, camp stoves, or anything that could be a source of ignition for a wildland fire.
- Campfires may be restricted or banned during times of high fire danger. Please watch for signs and obey the regulations.
Putting Out a Campfire
- Keep plenty of water nearby and have a shovel to throw dirt on the fire if it gets out of control.
- Drown the fire with water, and stir it to ensure that all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. Check to make sure there are no burning embers underneath rocks surrounding the fire. Continue stirring the material to ensure that anything still burning has been put out and cooled.
- Carefully run the back of your hand near the surface to feel if any heat is still being generated.
- Leave at least a three-foot clearing without dry grasses or vegetation around the area where you are smoking,
- Grind out your cigarette in the dirt before properly disposing of the remains in a trash can or ashtray. Never leave the remains on the ground.
- Avoid smoking while hiking or riding a horse or bicycle.
- Use an ashtray while in a vehicle.
- Never empty an ashtray on the ground.
- Vehicles can cause wildfires. Don’t drive or park on dry grass—hot components under a vehicle can spark a fire.
- Ensure that nothing is dragging on the ground, particularly chains on trailers.
- Maintain your brakes—worn out brakes can cause metal-on-metal contact, which can create sparks.
If you see smoke or flames, first look for signage along the road indicating a prescribed fire or an already-reported wildland fire. If you don’t see those, please call Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at (307) 739-3630. Be prepared to report your location and the location of the fire you’re reporting, what the smoke looks like, whether there are flames visible, and, if possible, a rough estimate of the fire’s size.
Teton Interagency Fire greatly appreciates members of the public who take the time to call in smoke reports. Early detection is key to giving fire managers the widest range of options in their response to a fire.
Please note any unusual or suspicious activity around fires. Write down the following information and immediately report it to the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at (307) 739-3630:
- Time and place
- Description of person(s) involved
- Vehicle license number, make, model, and color
To learn more about wildland fire, explore the Current Fire Information page
, the Risk Reduction page
, or return to the Wildland Fire homepage