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Summer! Summer! Summer!

a man riding a surfboard on top of a mountain

Summer in Jackson Hole is beautiful, as usual, and the people are here to prove it. The streets of town are packed with park visitors, and our Boathouse is bursting with rafters. We are having a nice long stretch of dry weather in Western Wyoming as well, which means it is HOT and DRY. Great rafting weather, just don’t forget the sunscreen and water bottles. (The sun at 6,000 feet can be brutal)

Our sunny days are also helping out the local wildland fires. I know that some of you are not surprised by this. Maybe you live out west, maybe you even live in an area susceptible to fires as well, but this news may inspire some hesitation for some to come visit us.


Wildfires are a part of life here and bring rejuvenation to the lands that burn. Wildfire season this year is projected to go from late June through October. Sometimes the fires are allowed to burn naturally to accommodate that renewal unless property or populations are in danger. Some fires are better left to Mother Nature, when no lives are in danger, even when it involves destruction.

We do have a couple of major fires that are currently in our region.

The Cliff Creek Fire is SE of us in the Bondurant area. It was started by a lightning strike, so is being allowed to burn as naturally as possible. As of August 1, this fire has burned over 29,000 acres which has given us more than a few smoky days here at the Boathouse, and closed one of our highways for a while, but other than that has not had an effect on town.

To the NE of Jackson we have the Lava Mountain Fire that is just before Dubois on Highway 26. Even though it was also started by lightning, they are trying to control it because of the conditions of the forest where it is located. The Lava Mountain Fire has burned a little more than 13,000 acres and is the current source of our smoky morning air, but has also had no immediate effect on town.


When you are visiting an area with fires it is always a good idea to know what is happening, take preventative measures, and be prepared to do anything that the local authorities deem necessary.


  • Where the fires are currently.
  • The current fire danger or fire restrictions at any campsites you will want to start fires at.
  • An evacuation route.


  • Even when you are allowed to still have fires, only make them when you need them, and keep them at a manageable size. At Mad River, we have switched our dinner menu to reduce our need for cook fires. (That means brownies for dessert instead of a dutch oven cobbler! –Yum)
  • Put any fires you make completely out. Douse with water.
  • “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.” – Smokey
  • Be aware of the news around you. Talk to the rangers – they are great people.

Take action

  • Go where the authorities tell you to go, when they tell you to go.
  • Report any new fires you see.
  • Practice fire safety!
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