Hunters, Be Cautious of Campfires This Fall
Written by wendycorr on August 14, 2019
Last fall, a hunter’s abandoned warming fire ignited the surrounding forest and burned more than 61,000 acres, destroying 58 homes in the Roosevelt Fire south of Jackson.
Game and Fish staff warn that hot and uncontrolled fall fires, like the Roosevelt, can cause devastating damage to homes and affect hunting seasons and wildlife habitats.
Ray Bredehoft, Wyoming Game and Fish Department habitat and access branch chief, says fall wildfires have much different implications than a controlled springtime fire. He says that when fires are used as a management tool to benefit wildlife, they burn at a different temperature in a controlled environment for a specific purpose.
Bredehoft says a fall wildfire, with its increased temperature and drier conditions, scorches the soil and sterilizes it to the point that native plants struggle to recover for years, adding that a wildfire like the Roosevelt, that starts and burns through the fall, can also have significant effects on hunting access.
To prevent impacts to hunting seasons, the Game and Fish, Forest Service and other land-management agencies may institute fire bans or restrictions on their properties throughout the summer and fall.