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Bridger-Teton, Grand Teton Wildfire Potential Remains High

Aerial photo of 2020's Mullen Fire.
Justin Hawkins
The Mullen Fire burned more than 176,000 acres in Medicine Bow National Forest during fall 2020.

Wildfire potential in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Grand Teton National Park remains high.

Despite recent moisture, public lands across the state are still experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions. Evan Guzik with the Bridger-Teton National Forest said the monsoonal moisture only really helped with the live fuels, like grass.

"But as we’ve seen in the last week or so, the dead and down fuels — the litter on the bottom of the ground, as well as the heavier fuels — those are carrying fire really well," he said.

The fires so far have been put out easily thanks to a lack of wind.

"But we haven’t really been tested with a high wind day when we have a fire start yet, either," Guzik added.

August and early September are typically the most hazardous time of year for large wildfires. Guzik said it's been a dangerous year and it's not over.

"We went into 'very high' fire danger at the end of June, and started fire restrictions July first," he said. "We've since backed that off to a 'high' fire danger. But we fully expect to go back into 'very high' sometime within the next month."

The National Park Service and the National Forest Service are reminding visitors on public lands to be responsible and cautious with fire. That means lighting fires only in designated recreation sites and keeping water and shovels nearby when you do.

Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.
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