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Caution with campfires

Alert_CampfireEach year, a number of abandoned campfires are reported throughout our area, increasing the risk of human-caused fires.


As many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans. Some human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, negligently discarded cigarettes and intentional acts of arson. These fires put firefighters at risk and commit fire suppression resources that may be needed for other incidents.

The Teton Interagency Fire program finds or responds to many abandoned campfires each year. Campers either leave a campfire still burning when they depart the area, or they don’t completely extinguish the fire and ensure all wood, ash, and other debris are no longer generating heat. Embers picked up by a breeze can be carried into vegetation where they have the potential to start a wildfire. Campers and day users should never leave a fire unattended and always have a shovel on hand and a water bucket ready for use. So far this season, personnel in the Teton Interagency Fire area have responded to 124 unattended or abandoned campfires.

The proper way to extinguish a campfire is to repeatedly pour water on the site and stir the remaining wood and ashes in order to mix in the water. The process needs to be repeated until you can place the back of your hand close to the site and not feel any heat radiating from the ashes and wood, a process known as “cold-trailing.”

An entertaining 30-second YouTube video shows the reward you may receive for properly extinguishing a campfire!

To report a wildlife, call the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307.739.3630. 




Last Updated: Oct 01, 2014
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