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Contact: Denise Germann, 307-739-3393
Contact: Mary Cernicek, 307.739.5564
Contact: Raena Parsons, 307.201.5433Western WY—Stage 1 fire restrictions will go into effect for Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and National Elk Refuge beginning 12:01 a.m. Thursday July 1, 2021.
Stage 1 fire restrictions apply primarily to campfires and smoking. The restrictions are based in part on the very high fire danger and predictions of continued warm and dry weather. Other factors include current regional and national fire activity. Several geographic areas are experiencing major incidents which have the potential to exhaust all agency fire resources. “The limited number of available fire resources due to the national fire situation and the increased traffic may limit our ability to respond to fires in a timely fashion,” said Josh Erickson, assistant fire management officer for the Bridger-Teton National Forest. “We want people to take the danger seriously and obey the restrictions that are in place.”
Fire managers study the moisture content of various fuel types, track current and expected weather conditions, and monitor available fire-fighting resources, as well as the occurrence of human-caused fires, to determine when fire restrictions need to be applied to public lands. The Teton Interagency Dispatch Center has recorded 62 unattended campfires so far this summer.
Stage 1 fire restrictions include:
• Lighting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, barbecue or grill is allowed only at designated recreation sites such as established campgrounds or picnic areas. Use of portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel, or use of a fully enclosed sheepherder type stove with a spark arrester screen is permitted.
• Smoking is allowed only in an enclosed vehicle, building (unless otherwise prohibited), developed recreation site, or while in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials (i.e. parking lots, developed campsites, or locations surrounded by water).
The following restrictions exist year-round:
• Operating a chainsaw is prohibited in national parks and on the wildlife refuge. Operating a chainsaw on national forest lands is permitted only when equipped with a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester that is properly installed and in effective working order. Operators must also carry a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
• Discharge of fireworks and use of explosives requiring blasting caps are prohibited.
• Charcoal burning fires are only allowed in official campgrounds and picnic areas.
• Stoves and grills that burn contained fuel sources that can be turned off and on are allowed. Stoves and grills must be attended to all times and be setup on hardened surfaces devoid of vegetation at least three feet in diameter.
Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, and/or by imprisonment for more than six months.
Unattended or abandoned campfires can quickly escalate into wildfires, and it is extremely important that all campfires are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before campers leave their site. Visitors should NEVER leave a fire unattended and should prepare for the unexpected by having a water bucket and shovel on hand and ready to use. The fine for an abandoned campfire as well as campfires in unapproved areas is up to $5000 or 6-months in jail, but campers can also be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire.
Additional information on restrictions and allowable stoves is available at TetonFires.com to learn more about fire safety and what fire regulations may be in place. To report a fire or smoke in the immediate area, call the Teton Interagency Fire Dispatch Center at 307.739.3630.
Last updated: June 28, 2021