Pilgrim Creek Fire area closure

The Bridger-Teton National Forest has closed southwestern portions of the Teton Wilderness to keep people away from the Pilgrim Creek Fire.

The blaze — currently the largest active wildfire in Jackson Hole — grew from about 10 acres Thursday afternoon to 80 acres by the time the closure notice went out Friday morning. It is casting off smoke that is visible throughout the northern part of the valley.

“During the initial attack phase … the fire did spot ahead of the fire’s perimeter, requiring firefighters to retreat and reevaluate tactics,” Bridger-Teton officials said in a press release.

“Shorter days and cooler evening temperatures will help to limit the daytime burn period and aid in suppression tactics to some degree,” the release stated.

Pilgrim Creek fire

Smoke from the Pilgrim Creek Fire rises Thursday afternoon northwest of Moran. This makes 11 fires discovered within a three-day period on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

A special order was issued closing off an area that includes Pilgrim Creek Road and a broad swath of the landscape around the fire, which is located to the south of Wildcat Mountain.

The cause of the Pilgrim Creek Fire remains undetermined.

Lighting strikes were reported in the area on Sept. 20, and forest officials say the strikes could have ignited a root system and left it smouldering for days.

Most of the nearly dozen wildfires detected on the Bridger-Teton in the last week were caused by humans, the result of illegal warming fires and camping fires that weren’t fully extinguished and flared up after being abandoned.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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