The Bridger-Teton National Forest will implement fire restrictions beginning Thursday, August 13. Visitors and local residents are reminded to be fire wise while recreating on federal lands. Stage 1 Fire Restrictions will be implemented on all National Forest System lands within the Bridger-Teton National Forest as of 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, August 13. These restrictions allow fires only in designated and installed fire rings or grills at designated campgrounds or picnic areas. Fires are allowed in the Teton and Gros Ventre Wilderness areas but not the Bridger Wilderness under these restrictions. Smoking is also restricted to certain locations. Fire restrictions on the Bridger-Teton National Forest 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).
Campfires in Grand Teton National Park are limited to designated and installed fire rings and/or grills. Campfires are not allowed on the National Elk Refuge. The moisture content of various fuel types, current and expected weather conditions, and available fire-fighting resources, as well as the occurrence of human-caused fires are factors in the determination to implement fire restrictions on public lands. Teton Interagency Fire managers would like to remind the public that unattended or abandoned campfires can quickly escalate into wildfires. The fire danger for the area is high, and forecasts call for warm and dry conditions to persist for the remainder of August and beyond. All campfires and warming fires should always be attended to. So far Teton Interagency Fire personnel have extinguished 168 unattended or abandoned campfires this summer. During times of elevated fire danger, a campfire is not encouraged. Visitors could be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire. All campfires must be completely extinguished before leaving a site. Campers and day users should have a shovel on hand and a water bucket ready for use. Soak, stir, feel, repeat. Make sure your campfire is “dead out” and cold to the touch before departing. Stay informed regarding any fire conditions and follow all guidelines and restrictions. Visit www.TetonFires.com for information. The following restrictions exist year-round on federal public lands:
- Operating a chainsaw is prohibited in national parks. 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.
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. For specific information about designated recreation sites and locations where fires are allowed on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, visit www.TetonFires.com and click on restrictions. The website also has updated information about fire activity in the area and fire prevention suggestions. The public is encouraged to report illegal campfires, as well as smoke reports, to Teton Interagency Fire Dispatch at 307-739-3630.