Saddle Butte Fire cause determined

Teton County Emergency Management shares results of Saddle Butte Wildfire Investigation:

Monday, September 2, 2019 Jackson, WY – An unusual accident is ruled the cause of Jackson’s second and largest wildfire of the year.

Investigators released the cause of the Saddle Butte Wildfire Monday afternoon, one day after the fire started in Jackson. Representatives from the Town of Jackson Police Department, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS and Bridger-Teton National Forest concluded interviews, witness statements and site investigation. It was determined that a bundle of Mylar balloons became tangled in power lines causing an electric arc. In addition, flaming materials fell to the ground and ignited dried grasses below the power lines and poles. Strong winds and steep slopes caused the fire to accelerate rapidly up the butte.

At roughly 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 1, 2019, Teton County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a report of wildland fire in the sage brush on the hill just north of Broadway across from the Virginian, burning roughly 255 acres.

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As of Monday evening, incident command estimates that the fire 50-60% is contained.

“Ground crews and air resources made good progress today,” said Incident Commander Dave Wilkins. “We were encouraged to see that fire containment lines held throughout the day with strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures.”

Residents in the Saddle Butte Subdivision remain evacuated overnight as crews continue to monitor the fire. Approximately 100 firefighters from local and surrounding agencies are assisting and will remain on the scene through the day on Tuesday.

A partial fire restriction remains in place in Teton County.

For more information, go to tetoncountywy.gov

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