Jackson Hole Fire burning in Gros Ventre drainage

Jackson Hole’s first major wildfire of the season was burning on roughly 750 acres in the Gros Ventre drainage as of Monday morning.

The Red Rock Fire continues to ignite trees and other plants on the Bridger-Teton National Forest approximately 26-miles northeast of Jackson, Forest Service officials said in a statement issued late Sunday.

The lightning-caused fire was discovered Saturday at about 1:30 p.m. A strong thunderstorm blew through the valley that afternoon.

The blaze is currently burning in mixed conifer trees. The fire is located three-quarters of a mile east of the Crystal Creek trailhead near Alkali Creek.

Firefighters are letting the fire burn for the benefit of the landscape.

“The Bridger-Teton is a fire-adapted ecosystem,” Jackson District Ranger Dale Deiter said. “Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of this area’s wildlife habitat and vegetation.”

On Sunday afternoon, the fire put off a large column of smoke behind Sleeping Indian, also known as Sheep Mountain.

The fire danger rating for the Bridger-Teton is listed as “high,” the middle of five fire danger ratings from “low” to “extreme.” A high fire danger means that the fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and campfires are likely to escape.

For more information on the Red Rock Fire, visit www.tetonfires.com.

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