fanning the flames

By Jim Stanford on July 2, 2012

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Fontenelle Fire near Big Piney, as seen from the sky Thursday.

The Fontenelle Fire west of Big Piney has grown to nearly 50,000 acres, with high winds and continued hot, dry weather expected for the next few days. Folks around Pinedale must be getting a little uneasy.

Jim Woodmencey sees parallels to the summer of 1988.

Photographer Tristan Greszko ventured down to Big Piney and documented what he could see of the blaze.

Be careful with fire this Fourth of July holiday.

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Posted under Environment, Weather, Wyoming

5 Comments so far

  1. Woolly July 2, 2012 6:59 pm

    …and now they’ve cancelled the fireworks at Snow King and the village, which is the right call.

  2. Leith July 2, 2012 8:44 pm
  3. joe July 2, 2012 8:53 pm

    somebody forgot to send good and safe thoughts for our forest service, park service, blm and fire dept. responders.

  4. sc July 2, 2012 9:37 pm

    Good and safe thoughts for all!

  5. js July 3, 2012 10:12 am

    Thanks to those who passed on the news about fireworks being canceled. I received the press release from the county but was unable to post it at the time. It was just a few years ago that fireworks at Snow King set fire to the mountain. While there have been many comparisons already to ’88, at the very least this dry summer parallels 2001, when the Green Knoll Fire singed Wilson. Here is the release:

    Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Chief Willy Watsabaugh announces that this year’s fireworks shows at the base of Snow King Mountain on July 4th and Teton Village on July 3rd and 4th have been canceled due to fire danger. Both events are traditionally allowed under a special use permit provided by Jackson Hole Fire/EMS, with the condition that the event may be canceled if conditions warrant.

    With a careful risk analysis conducted by fire officials, it has been determined that moving forward with the annual fireworks displays this year is ill advised.

    According to Chief Watsabaugh, “Data shows that this year is drier than it was in 1988 and 2000 when wildfires created dramatic impacts to our area. While we are aware that fireworks shows are a tradition and a summertime highlight for residents and visitors alike, the conditions are ripe for a dramatic fire event, and one only needs to look throughout the state or the western region to see the impacts wildfires can have on residents, visitors and the landscape. When I look at the fires throughout the region, the resources needed to deal with a large scale fire are already spoken for, we just can’t take the risk.”

    Coupled with today’s actions by the Board of County Commissioners and the Jackson Town Council to implement a Partial Fire Closure throughout the county, Teton County joins Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the State of Wyoming in imposing measures to reduce the likelihood of human caused fires during a time of severe wildfire conditions throughout the region. For more information visit http://www.tetonwyo.org/fire or (866) 221-6441.

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