Firefighters in Jackson Hole worked to contain two new fires sparked by lightning on Wednesday, with a helicopter expected to join the effort today, according to a statement released by the Grand Teton National Park public affairs office.
Teton Interagency firefighters responded late Wednesday afternoon to a smoke report four miles west of Red Top Meadows subdivision on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, near the border with the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. The South Fall fire was less than an acre as of Thursday afternoon.
Firefighters remained on the fire overnight. Their efforts will be augmented by support from a fire engine and helicopter today. Firefighters will use blivets to aid them in extinguishing the fire. A blivet is a portable reservoir that can be brought in by helicopter, giving firefighters easier access to a water supply.
The South Fall fire is on a steep slope and burning in a thick stand of conifer trees. Firefighters are suppressing this fire due to the proximity to developed areas and the fact that it is burning in dead and dying trees where fuels reduction projects haven’t been implemented.
Interagency Fire crews responded to a fire in Grand Teton National Park on Wednesday at 6 p.m., less than a mile southeast of the Moulton Ranch Cabins on Mormon Row. The fire burned 1.5 acres of grass before firefighters contained it around 7 p.m. Engines from Moose and Colter Bay and a water tender from Teton County responded to the fire. Firefighters will patrol the area today to make sure all hot spots are extinguished.
Visitors are reminded that all campfires must be completely extinguished before leaving an area. Fires should be drowned with water and dirt and the ashes should be stirred until they are cold to the touch. While the Teton Interagency Area is currently rated as being in Moderate Fire Danger, warm, dry afternoons can create favorable conditions for active fire spread.
Because the area has received significant lightning, patrollers will be looking for new starts that may be smoldering and undetected. Visitors can help by reporting any smoke sightings to 911 or to Teton Interagency Dispatch at 307-739-3630.