Update 5:30 p.m.: “Unless conditions deteriorate significantly, there will not be an evacuation tonight.” Hurray! Every flare-up on the ridge quenched quickly.
Update 4:30 p.m.: Crews appear to have the upper hand. No flames on ridge, smoke diminishing.
Update 3:10 p.m.: Flames have begun to crest Snow King again up Cache Creek, closer to town than last night, but a slurry bomber just doused the ridge with retardant. The battle rages over east Jackson.
Authorities have confirmed that the Little Horsethief Fire, which ignited Saturday and has burned more than 2,000 acres around Jackson, was started by an illegal burn at a residence south of town.
The charring emanates from a property at the mouth of Wilson Canyon, adjacent to Bridger-Teton National Forest. County records show it belongs to James Anderson III of Jackson. Anderson has not responded to a phone message left this morning.
Police Chief Todd Smith said the fire started near a residence and was “intended to be a controlled burn.” A fire ban was in effect at the time.
Violating the fire ban is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $750 and six months in jail. The Teton County fire marshal is heading the investigation and likely will submit a report to the county attorney.