Well, that didn’t take long: the Yellowstone fire danger level has now been raised to high, as the long, hot summer continues, with little substantive relief on the horizon.
The Grand Teton fire danger level was upgraded to high last week, just after the Yellowstone fire danger level was raised to moderate on June 15. There is a chance of rain a few times in the latest 10-day forecast, but overall the trend in the American West is drought exacerbated by high temperatures. It was 108 degrees in Billings last week–a record–and areas across Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico and Idaho are seeing record temps and little rainfall. We’re seeing wildfires pop up in Arizona and New Mexico as well.
For now, there are no fire restrictions in Yellowstone. However, it’s best to keep in mind campfires are only permitted within established fire rings in campgrounds and some backcountry campsites. Campfires must always be attended and be cold to the touch before abandoning.
A high fire danger rating means fires can start easily and spread quickly. Unattended campfires and brush fires are likely to escape and can become serious and difficult to control. When determining fire danger, fire managers use several indicators such as the moisture content of grasses, shrubs, and trees; projected weather conditions including temperatures and possible wind events; the ability of fire to spread after ignition; and availability of firefighting resources across the county.
Image courtesy National Park Service.