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Wildfire SS1

DON’T PLAY WITH FIRE

Campfire safety essentials

July 7th, 2022

It’s hard to imagine camping without a campfire. The age-old tradition has enhanced the outdoors experience for generations of nature-lovers, providing essential warmth, cooking space and camaraderie. But with great power comes great responsibility.

The reality is that too many natural areas have been degraded or destroyed by the misuse of fire, with unattended campfires being the biggest culprit of wildfire. Last season, patrollers in Western Wyoming discovered an alarming 114 unattended campfires. The climate in Jackson Hole is especially dry and susceptible to wildfire, so always consider the following:

Observe any posted fire restrictions for your area. These restrictions are intended to protect our community and the people and places we love most. For information on current fire bans, visit the Teton Interagency Fire website.

  • STAGE 1: Fires are only allowed inside designated, developed campgrounds and picnic areas – no building your own campfire ring in a dispersed area (see photo below).
  • STAGE 2: Campfires aren’t allowed ANYWHERE.
Wildfire SS2

We want every visit to Jackson Hole to be a memorable one! Staying informed is the best way for your group to experience and preserve the natural beauty of our parks. As you prepare for your next adventure, ask yourself these questions:

  • Could a camp stove be used instead? Modern stoves are lightweight and have become an essential tool for minimum-impact camping due to their versatility, operating in almost any weather condition.
  • Will the removal of firewood be noticeable? Wood should only be sourced from areas that have an abundance of trees and shrubs, allowing supply to regenerate on pace with the demand for firewood. Gather wood over a wide area.
  • How will your surroundings be impacted? Remember that your actions have a direct impact on our vast ecosystem. For example:
    • Standing trees—dead or alive—provide sanctuary to countless birds and animals, while improving soil health and moisture. Downed wood burns best and is easiest to collect.
    • There’s life brimming beneath the soil so avoid scorching the ground with intense, direct heat.
  • Have I adequately cleaned up? Finish what you started by dousing your fire.
    • Burn all wood to white ash, and grind down any remaining coals.
    • Extinguish fires with water, not dirt. Two gallons of water is recommended to adequately douse residual embers. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.

Alright, now you’re set! Thanks for your efforts to keep Jackson Hole a serine destination for all!