Wyoming Firefighters use Sprinklers to Fend Off Wildfire

JACKSON -- Fire crews were using sprinklers Monday to protect buildings close to a nearly 1,000-acre fire in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The lightning-caused Granite fire, 22 miles northeast of Hoback Junction, is burning in the Gros Ventre Wilderness and in the popular Granite Creek drainage just two miles north of Granite Hot Springs.

"Firefighters have set up sprinklers to protect the structures in the area and will continue to focus their efforts on keeping the fire from moving south," Bridger-Teton officials said in a Monday news release. "The Granite Hot Springs pool has provided a useful water source for the firefighters' sprinkler systems during this suppression effort."

Two helicopters continued to work on the Granite fire, focusing their bucket drops on the southwest corner, the release said. The helicopters have used nearby lakes for their water supply.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest has closed the Granite Hot Springs Road just north of the fork that leads to the Safari Club. Additionally, the Granite Creek campground and Granite Hot Springs pool have been closed, and a Girl Scout camp has been evacuated.

Meanwhile, smaller fires were burning Monday in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.

The Owl fire is burning in mature lodgepole pine and spruce-fir forest in an area of Yellowstone east of U.S. Highway 191, north of the Montana/Wyoming state line, and south of Specimen Creek, the Park Service said in a Monday release.

Smokejumpers from West Yellowstone were joining with firefighters from Yellowstone and the Gallatin National Forest in an attempt to contain the 217-acre blaze.

"The Owl fire is burning in the backcountry away from roads and developed areas. It is not a threat to people or property," the Park Service said. "While all visitor services, park entrances and roads are open, some trails and backcountry campsites in the area near the fire are temporarily closed."

Smokejumpers from West Yellowstone also responded to the Boone fire in Grand Teton. The fire, located in the northernmost part of the park, had burned less than an acre in size. The fire likely began as a result of a thunderstorm that passed through the area earlier in July and was burning in lodgepole pine trees.

Containment was expected by early evening Monday. No structures were threatened, and there were no road or trail closures.

The current fire danger rating is listed as extreme for northwest Wyoming.

Republished with permission from The Casper Star Tribune