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|NEWS AND UPDATES (Click here for archived news stories)|| |
Wyoming Department of Transportation
Wyoming traffic counts statewide increased by more than 27 percent compared to the five-year average for the third Sunday in August as the Aug. 21 solar eclipse nears.
Traffic counts increased by more than 217,000 vehicles statewide when looking at the five-year average with the most traffic increases in the central, northwestern, western and southern parts of the state.
The counties that saw the largest increases in traffic on Sunday were Laramie at 44,794 more vehicles, Teton at 33,087 more vehicles and Natrona at 11,166 more vehicles, figures from Wyoming Department of Transportation’s traffic counters indicated.
Laramie County also had 12,174 more vehicles on Saturday, 2,542 on Friday, 5,175 on Thursday and 2,780 on Wednesday, figures indicated.
Teton County had 17,755 more vehicles on Saturday, 13,558 on Friday, 12,157 on Thursday and 10,410 on Wednesday.
Natrona County had 4,465 more vehicles on Saturday, 947 on Friday, 1,083 on Thursday and less than 1,688 on Wednesday, figures indicated.
The other counties that had significant increases included Fremont at 19,456 more vehicles, Converse at 19,394 more vehicles, Carbon at 10,670 more vehicles and Sweetwater at 10,591 more vehicles.
Although WYDOT can’t say for sure that the increase is the result of the eclipse, it is a good indicator it’s the result of the solar event. The increases don’t consider vehicles that pass the same spot multiple times a day, like commuter vehicles or local delivery vehicles. The traffic counts also don’t reflect all traffic movement in the state as all roads don’t have counters.
Traffic again increased on US 287 south of Tie Siding near the Colorado border. Sunday’s figures had increases at 88 percent (4,877 more vehicles). Traffic has steadily increased on that road over the past few days with Wednesday and Thursday’s figures showing a more than 40 percent increase, Friday’s around 60 percent and Saturday’s at 85 percent, WYDOT figures showed.
North of Laramie on US 30-287 north of WYO 34, traffic increased by 214 percent on Sunday (2,527 more vehicles). On Saturday, traffic increased 107 percent (11,146 more vehicles). On US 30-287 south of WYO 34 near Laramie, traffic increased by 145 percent on Sunday (2,804 more vehicles). On Saturday, traffic increased by 78 percent (1,298 more vehicles).
Also in the southern part of the state, traffic on US 85 south of LaGrange increased by almost 150 percent (3,613 more vehicles) on Sunday. On Saturday traffic increased by 63 percent, Friday by 50 percent, Thursday by 40 percent and Wednesday by 36 percent.
Traffic also continued to increase in the northwestern part of the state. On US 287 east of WYO 28 and Lander, traffic increased by 119 percent (1,418 more vehicles) on Sunday. On Saturday, traffic increased by 158 percent (1,685 more vehicles), Friday by 81 percent, Thursday by 45 percent and Wednesday, figures showed.
Traffic continued to increase locally in several spots. Those areas include Jackson, Afton, Etna and Moran Junction along US 89, 189 and 191, which are high-volume roads in the state.
Traffic counts for US 89 south of Etna increased by about 49 percent (2,346 more vehicles), figures indicated. On US 26-89-189-191 south of Kelly near Jackson, traffic increased by almost 40 percent on Sunday (5,304 more vehicles).
Some other areas in the northwestern part of the state where traffic continued to increase included:
• US 89-191-187 north of Moran Junction north of Jackson - 60 percent (2,797 more vehicles)
• US 89-191-187 south of Moran Junction near Jackson - 52 percent (2,761 more vehicles)
• US 89-191-187 near Colter Bay near the Grand Teton National Park - 30 percent (1,327 more vehicles)
• US 189 north of Lazeart Junction near Evanston - 130 percent (1,448 more vehicles) – On Saturday, traffic increased by 100 percent (1,181 more vehicles), Friday by 48 percent (710 more vehicles), Thursday by 22 percent (309 more vehicles) and Wednesday by 18 percent (244 more vehicles)
• US 89 south of Afton - 40 percent (1,138 more vehicles)
• US 189-191 at Teton National Park - 32 percent (756 more vehicles)
Traffic along Interstate 80 also still had some increases on Sunday, but not has high as they were on Saturday.
East of Evanston, traffic increased by 23 percent (3,991 more vehicles). West of Laramie on I-80, traffic increased by 11 percent (1,775 more vehicles). West of Rawlins on I-80, traffic increased by 11 percent (1,820 more vehicles). East of Little America on I-80, traffic increased by 12 percent (2,037 more vehicles), and west of Green River, traffic increased by 10 percent (1,797 more vehicles).
Along I-25, traffic increased dramatically on Sunday with some areas having increases of more than 100 percent. At the Colorado border, traffic increased by almost 60 percent (14,739 more vehicles). North of Horse Creek, traffic increased by 121 percent (15,931 more vehicles), which is higher than Saturday’s figure of 64 percent of (7,305 more vehicles). At Central Avenue, traffic increased by only by 79 percent (14,691 more vehicles), which is higher than Saturday’s figure of 23 percent (4,511 more vehicles).
Traffic on parts of I-90 in northern Wyoming also increased more than in previous days. Those increases were between 10 and 20 percent.
Wyoming eclipse update – Monday, August 21, 2017 (posted 8/21/17)
Monday weather forecast for Pinedale area is clear skies and SUNNY with a high of 78F.
Contact numbers for information: 307-749-7119, 307-749-7120, firstname.lastname@example.org. An eclipse information center is located on the west end of Pinedale on US 191 just west of the Hampton Inn. Tune in to 1620AM/1640AM/1530AM and KPIN 101.1FM for more local eclipse info.
Eclipse parking and viewing available at White Pine Ski Area, $20/vehicle – or park free if you ride the ski lift up to view eclipse from the top of the mountain, $30. Food services available at the Lodge.
Eclipse will start around 10:15AM. Totality north of Pinedale area will begin around 11:24AM and will last about 2 minutes and 23 seconds. The eclipse will be done around 1:00PM.
Remember to wear protective eye gear when watching the eclipse – do not look directly at the sun without eye protection.
Practice "leave no trace" camping, pack it in-pack it out.
Be considerate of other people out recreating in our area.
Still looking for a place close by Pinedale to see the eclipse in the totality from your car or a great view with easy access? White Pine Ski Area will be running the chairlift to the top of mountain for the eclipse on Monday morning. They are in the totality zone. They have a big parking lot, cost to park is $20/car. You can view from the parking lot or the meadow by the tent/tipi village. Or get parking for free if you take the chairlift to view from the top of the mountain, cost is $30 adults, $15 for age 5-15 years old, and $10 for Season Pass holders. White Pine Grill open from 7:30am for breakfast (fresh baked cinnamon rolls and muffins) plus lunch. Waggon and Horses Pub also open. Eclipse glasses available at the Lodge. www.whitepineski.com, 307-367-6606
Update note (Sunday, Aug. 20, 10:30AM): White Pine is open today (Sunday) for lift ticket sales and prep for tomorrow. They still have a few tent/camper openings plus one cancelled Luxury Cabin available. 307-367-6606, www.whitepineski.com
Grand Teton National Park offers official eclipse viewing locations (posted 8/20/17)
Contact numbers for information: 307-749-7119, 307-749-7120, email@example.com.
An eclipse information center has been set up on the west end of Pinedale on US 191 just west of the Hampton Inn.
You can tune in to 1620AM/1640AM/1530AM and KPIN 101.1FM for more local eclipse info.
Wyoming Department of Transportion: Traffic counts increase: Wyoming traffic counts increased by more than 74,000 vehicles on Friday as compared to a five-year average for the same timeframe, according to WYDOT. On Thursday, traffic counts showed an increase of more than 45,000 vehicles, while Wednesday showed an increase of more than 30,000 vehicles. While those increases don't consider vehicles that pass the same spot multiple times per day (like commuter vehicles or local delivery vehicles), the traffic counts are showing a steady increase heading into the weekend.
Elkhart Park is full, no more dispersed parking available above White Pine. It is ok to drop off or pick up. Be advised it is very congested, drive carefully, narrow windy road, limited turn-around space. Forest Service has personnel up at information hut. Sublink Stage is offering shuttle services to Elkhart Park trailhead – call Chuck at 307-690-6514 for more info on logistics and prices. Parking available at White Pine Ski Area, $20/vehicle.
Hoback Guard Station has openings, campfires ok (not in totality)
Middle Piney Lake Campground has openings, campfires ok (not in totality)
Sacajawea Campground has openings, campfires ok (not in totality)
Snyder Guard Station has openings, campfires ok (not in totality)
Cliff Creek has dispersed camping, NO FIRES (in totality)
Union Pass: Over the Union Pass area, anything from Mosquito Lake to Dubois is also reaching capacity. Some dispersed camping available below Mosquito Lake - recommend high clearance 4WD vehicle for access.
Upper Green: Green River Lakes Campground and trailhead are now full. Dispersed camping between the end of pavement and the campground is also reported to be full. Very heavy traffic is reported going up Highway 352 from Cora to Green River Lakes. Visibility may be limited also on the dirt roads due to extra traffic, please exercise caution.
Click here for pictures of parking situation at Elkhart and around Green River Lakes as of Friday, August 19.
For Pinedale area
From the National Weather Service:
Saturday, August 19:
Sunny, with a high near 80. Light and variable wind becoming west 6 to 11 mph in the afternoon.
Mostly clear, with a low around 40. West northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable after midnight.
Sunday, August 20:
Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. Light and variable wind becoming west 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon.
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 44. West wind 5 to 7 mph becoming light and variable after midnight.
Eclipse Day Monday, August 21:
Mostly sunny, with a high near 77. Light and variable wind becoming west 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon.
Mostly clear, with a low around 41. West northwest wind 3 to 8 mph.
Tuesday, August 22:
Sunny, with a high near 78.
Click on this link for Pinedale area weather forecast.
Eclipse update – Friday, Aug. 18, 10:00PM (posted 8/18/17)
Eclipse viewing info (posted 8/18/17)
Between now and Monday, August 21st, the U.S. Postal Service is offering special postmarks at post offices along the path of the solar eclipse totality.
The Bondurant post office gets to be one of the few offering the special postmark. They are located at 13884 US Hwy 191 (south of Bondurant near the Branding Iron Cafe). Any item bearing current first-class postage stamps will be postmarked at no charge. Sheets of the special forever stamps will also be available.
The Total Eclipse of the Sun stamp was issued on June 20, 2017 and is a special one-of-a-kind forever stamp. It is heat sensitive and transforms the solar eclipse image into the moon from the heat of a finger. Once cooled, the image reverts back to the eclipse. The stamps are sold in panes of 16 forever stamps and are available at post offices nationwide and online at usps.com/shop.
A bit of history
Wyohistory.org is a history website project of the Wyoming State Historical Society with many stories about Wyoming history. They have an interesting story about historical solar eclipses as seen from Wyoming. The story was written by Rebecca Hein. "Three total solar eclipses have crossed Wyoming since territorial times—in 1878, 1889 and 1918. Two in particular drew prominent astronomers and scientific discoveries."
The solar eclipse of 1878 crossed Wyoming in a diagonal from northwest to southeast, at somewhat of a sharper angle than this year’s eclipse will do. Pinedale, Jackson and Yellowstone Park were in the pathway of totality in that one. Noted astronomers from around the country came via the transcontinental railroad and set up scientific equipment at viewing stations about 14 miles west of Rawlins.
The 1889 solar eclipse just clipped the northwest corner of Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park and Wyoming didn’t play a big part in the viewing hoopla since the eclipse was more easily viewed from other more accessible locations.
The 1918 solar eclipse crossed the southeast corner of Wyoming including Green River and Rock Springs on a path similar to this year’s, but shifted a bit more southerly. At least six well-known astronomers, plus many spectators, visited Wyoming for this eclipse bringing "gigantic cameras and spectrographs," mirrors and other equipment for viewing and taking measurements.
Click on this link to read the full story on eclipse history in Wyoming on wyohistory.org: Moon Shadows over Wyoming: The Solar Eclipses of 1878, 1889 and 1918
Eclipseblog May 10, 2017
The Solar Eclipses of 1878, 1889 and 1918 More graphics of historic eclipse paths here
Yellowstone Park to see just a partial eclipse on August 21 (posted 8/16/17)
Every Year Since 1970
Little Shay Paravicini and I had a discussion about pirates during the Pinedale Boat Club's Annual Sailing Regatta on Fremont Lake.
"They go, Aarrgghhh," she said. "We have a pirate boat and I'm a pirate girl and pirate girls go, Aarrgghhh! Daddie's a pirate and he likes to eat fish and drink beer and rum, but he isn't racing today, Jason is the only pirate in today's race."
Lucky for me, Jason "The Pirate" Essington had invited me a year ago to come along for this year’s race, the 47th. They have held this race every year since 1970. His boat is named, Opa's Dream. Opa is German for "Grandpa." "I bought Burt Reno's old boat," he said. "He brought sailing to Fremont Lake and I bought it to make sure we still have sailing here." "He weighs about 5000 pounds and the next heaviest boat in this race weighs about 2000 pounds. It takes more wind to get us going, but it is real good in the unpredictable squalls that kick up here."
While I was waiting for the race to start I talked to a few other racers. David Pendell sails Rosie. "I used to sail Nirvana, but used to spend too much time upside down, bailing and other situations, so we got Rosie, who is more understanding of older gentlemen. Oh yeah, at last year’s race we saw a funnel cloud."
I got a news tip from Allan and Sharon Holmes who summer at the cabins in Sylvan Bay, telling me about Richard and Peggy Krebill who have summered at Sylvan Bay for 50 years. "They are in the 80's, and they sail a boat with a frowny face on it," Allan said.
I never did find a frowny face anywhere, but I did find Rich and Peggy Krebill who have sailed this race for about seventeen years. Turns out they live in a home they built themselves with lumber they had cut at the old mill that used to be out in Daniel. "We don't have hot water in the cabin," said Peggy. "We use a solar shower. If we get a sunny day we get a pretty hot shower right out of the bag. If we don't get a sunny day, then we warm up some water on the wood stove. That is the stove we cook our food on, too. That stove used to belong to the American Legion and my Mom bought it for us when the Legion got a new one."
Jason gave me a heads up to go to the head if I needed to because it might not be easy out there. Once I got in the boat he gave me three spots I was allowed to be in and told me not to be offended if he yelled at me. I'm used to this advice as I get the same advice from cowboys when I do rodeo and branding stories. So far I ain't walkin' funny, so I'll keep listening.
The start of the race is sort of like Musical Chairs for boats. You get a five minute blow on an air horn and in that five minutes all the boats run all over the place close to the orange mark buoy and try to be right at it when the start horn blows. It gets pretty tight and it's a little like bumper cars, but no one yelled at anyone too bad. I couldn't tell exactly where the line was but everyone seemed to know who got across the start line first and that's when the beer came out and the trash talking started. We were in the doldrums just like Magellan and the insults were creative. Jason opened a beer for me with his wedding ring. "Titaniun," he said. "Gold ain't much good for opening beer."
We were looking for "texture" in the surface which indicates wind, but it took a long time coming. Every time a dark front with a little lightning moved in, we thought we'd get going. But it didn't happen...until it happened suddenly. One minute we were commenting on David Payne's big fat toes and the next we were grabbing at anything with an edge so we wouldn't go over the side. Someone turned cowboy music up loud and there were cowboy whoops and "yeehaw's" all over the fleet as the wind almost threw everyone off their feet. I crashed into one side of the cabin or the other until I learned to anticipate the changes, but I cracked a few body parts pretty good in the process.
Luckily, my camera has never left my hands in spite of all the spills I've taken over the years, so I just kept shooting as I scrambled. Unfortunately, I must have bumped my head so I can't remember how I ended up leaving my camera in the cabin and joining Jason and David pulling sail lines. It ain't easy pulling on those little skinny twiney things. As I pulled my line I watched my camera roll around the cabin floor and then it was joined by my camera bag...which spilled out all the lens's, batteries, filters and mixed together on the floor with beer bottles, radios, life jackets, Cheetos, bikini bottoms and lake spray. Damn, I was missing some good shots...so I scampered down there and got back to work.
Jason and David were shouting Viking songs into the wind as they stood at 90 degrees off level or is it 45? Hope you like that shot. Somehow, in spite of the waves coming over the front of the boat, they kept their eyes on the second marker and kept steering toward it...tho Dave did ask me to clean his glasses at least once.
After awhile we looked around us and it seemed a few boats were giving up and dropping their sails or trying to. It felt good to be in Jason's boat. He and David worked together like they'd been handling this stuff all their lives, so I felt totally secure. Never had a moments misgiving. I was a little disappointed that we turned around, too...until I realized we had capsized boats and people overboard in the race.
Riley Bennett had flipped and his mast was pointed toward the bottom of the lake. Riley Wilson on his little Butterfly was nowhere to be seen; Howard Bartlett had been thrown overboard and had been in the cold water twenty minutes since he'd last been seen. We also were unable to raise the boat with the Merman and his Mermaids from New York on the radio. Every boat that could get underway joined to the search and rescue.
Jason was on the radio trying to account for everyone but I couldn't figure out a single word that came thru that radio. It sounded like a heavy metal song mixed together with sounds of someone getting murdered and finger nails on a chalk board.
Eventually everyone was accounted for; Riley was able to get his boat halfway up with the help of two boats pulling on opposite ends and then dragging him to Sandy Beach. Monte Bolgiano said they were so far over water was coming into the cockpit. I was glad we headed in when we did. I found myself pretty focused on weighing my barfing options...a small plastic bag or crowd Jason and heave over the side. Then I'd look at the horizon and try to take my mind off it. Stepping onto dry land got me on the road to recovery, but I needed something more.
I found Howard "twenty minutes in the water" Bartlett all bundled up in the lodge and he admitted he was hypothermic. "One boat came close and I held up my hand in the waves, but there was so much rain, hail and wind they didn't see me as they went by," he said. So just like the movies I went up to the bar and brought us both down a Jameson Whiskey. I know, Kenna Tanner...I forgot. Whiskey isn't a good way to fight if off since it will pull the cool blood from your extremities into your core, further lowering your body temp. That is why we have people like you who train and train and train...so they won't make things worse for their friends like I just did. But, we liked it anyway, didn't we Howard?
So guess who won the race?
Eighty-one year old Richard Krebill and his buddy, seventy-year old Charlie Kulp. I sat with them and Peggy and told them of my high time on the lake and asked them what their secret was. "Well, we didn't have any beer," said Richard.
I'll just leave that there, since I didn't pursue it with Richard either. Some topics we just can't entertain.
Thank you Dawn Ballou of Pinedale Online for sponsoring this grand adventure. Thanks to all the racers and volunteers and Lakeside staff who were so kind to me. Jason, I can't thank you enough. Best time of my life. You all are free to use these low-rez images for personal use. I do sell hi-rez images which helps me replace camera gear who give their lives in pursuit of a good story. I have a lot more photos, but I just can't post them all. Terry: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on this link for more of Terry’s pictures of the sailing regatta: Fremont Lake Sailing Regatta 2017
2017 Sailing Regatta results (PDF)
www.lakesidelodge.com Lakeside Lodge
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in effect
Sublette County Unified Fire
SUBLETTE COUNTY, WYOMING - Effective Tuesday, August 15, 2017, Sublette County has enacted fire restrictions that limit fires within the county. The Sublette County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously via conference call to enact fire restrictions following the recommendations of Fire Chief Shad Cooper. Fire restrictions have also been implemented for Teton County, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, the Bureau of Land Management, and Wyoming State Forestry administered lands.
The restrictions were enacted due to the current high fire danger and prediction for warmer and drier weather. Additionally, increased visitation for the upcoming total solar eclipse could potentially see several new fire starts in the area. The increased fire activity may limit the number of available fire resources and personnel available to respond to the additional fires.
The Sublette County Fire Restrictions prohibit all outdoor fires, incendiary devices, and the discharge of fireworks within the county. The following exceptions are allowed if the fire activity is controlled in a cleared area at least 10’ in radius, and a fire extinguisher is immediately available: campfires contained within an established fire ring; trash or refuse fires within containers provided with spark arresters between 6:00 PM and 8:00 AM; charcoal fires within enclosed grills; acetylene cutting torches or electric arc welders; and fire branding activities.
Additional fire restrictions have also been enacted on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Bureau of Land Management High Desert District, National Elk Refuge, Grand Teton National Park, and Wyoming State Lands and Parks. These additional fire restrictions apply primarily to restricting campfires and smoking on state and federal lands, in addition to the normal year-round wildfire prevention restrictions on fireworks, incendiary ammunition, burning of hazardous materials, and operating off-road vehicles/chainsaws without properly installed spark arresters.
For specific information about fire restrictions on public land, please see the following:
Approved: Shad Cooper
Sublette County Fire Chief/Warden
Rocky Mountain Power offers free onsite energy assessment for small businesses in Wyoming (posted 8/15/17)
WESTERN WYOMING — Stage 1 fire restrictions will be go into effect for Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, Bureau of Land Management High Desert District and National Elk Refuge beginning 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, August 15.
Stage 1 fire restrictions apply primarily to campfires and smoking. The restrictions are based in part on the current high fire danger and predictions of continued warm and dry weather. Other factors include current regional and national fire activity and increased visitation to the area during the upcoming total solar eclipse. Several geographic areas are experiencing major incidents which have the potential to exhaust all agency fire resources. "The limited number of available fire resources due to the national fire situation and the increased traffic may limit our ability to respond to fires in a timely fashion," said Mike Johnston, assistant fire management officer for the Bridger-Teton National Forest. "We want people to take the danger seriously and obey the restrictions that are in place."
Fire managers study the moisture content of various fuel types, track current and expected weather conditions, and monitor available fire-fighting resources, as well as the occurrence of human-caused fires, to determine when fire restrictions need to be applied to public lands. The Teton Interagency Dispatch Center has recorded over 73 unattended campfires so far this summer.
Teton and Sublette Counties will also begin fire restrictions this week. The Shoshone and Caribou-Targhee National Forests have implemented some form of ire restrictions as well. Teton Wilderness on the Blackrock Ranger District, and the Bridger Wilderness on the Pinedale Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, will be exempted from the stage 1 restriction order. These areas are higher in elevation and the fuels are not as dry as the rest of the forest.
Stage 1 fire restrictions include:
• Lighting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, barbecue or grill is allowed only at designated recreation sites such as established campgrounds or picnic areas. Use of portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel, or use of a fully enclosed sheepherder type stove with a spark arrester screen is permitted.
• Smoking is allowed only in an enclosed vehicle, building (unless otherwise prohibited), developed recreation site, or while in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials (i.e. parking lots, developed campsites, or locations surrounded by water).
The following restrictions exist year round:
• Operating a chainsaw is prohibited in national parks and on the wildlife refuge. Operating a chainsaw on national forest lands is permitted only when equipped with a USDA or SAE approved sparkarrester that is properly installed and in effective working order. Operators must also carry a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
• Discharge of fireworks and use of explosives requiring blasting caps are prohibited.
• Charcoal burning fires are only allowed in official campgrounds and picnic areas.
• Stoves and grills that burn contained fuel sources that can be turned off and on are allowed. Stoves and grills must be attended to all times and be setup on hardened surfaces devoid of vegetation at least three feet in diameter.
Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, and/or by imprisonment for more than six months.
Unattended or abandoned campfires can quickly escalate into wildfires, and it is extremely important that all campfires are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before campers leave their site. Visitors should NEVER leave a fire unattended, and should prepare for the unexpected by having a water bucket and shovel on hand and ready to use. The fine for an abandoned campfire as well as campfires in unapproved areas is up to $5000 or 6-months in jail, but campers can also be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire.
A copy of the order and additional information on allowable stoves is available on www.tetonfires.com. To report a fire or smoke on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, or National Elk Refuge, call 307-739-3630.
Lauren McKeever, Sublette County Joint Information Center
PINEDALE, WYOMING – The Sublette County, Wyoming interagency team has been working together for months to safely and efficiently manage services and operations for residents and visitors to Sublette County and the Wind River mountain area during the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017.
Agency personnel from county, state and federal agencies have been pulling together resources to respond to any incidents during the total eclipse on the morning of August 21, in order to provide emergency services, inform visitors coming from around the world, and maintain safety in the community. A Joint Information Center will be operating starting on Thursday, August 17th, across from the Hampton Inn in Pinedale.
"Totality" is the phenomenon when the moon will completely block the sun for a few minutes, depending on the vantage point. The community of Bondurant will be entirely in totality, while Pinedale, Daniel and Boulder will be minutes from the totality viewing path.
Xavior M. Jubier’s free map is excellent for learning specifics of the eclipse path: http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/TSE_2017_GoogleMapFull.html.
Since thousands of extra visitors are already arriving to the area, federal, state and local agencies are advising the following:
Cell phone service is expected to be overloaded, so it is possible 911 calls may not work. Plan accordingly. If you do have an emergency and cannot use 911, find agency personnel (local police, fire, or federal or state agency personnel) who will be present throughout the area on public lands. Information and emergency services will also be available at ranger stations and at the forest boundary at the end of Highway 352, known locally as the Green River Lakes Road. Information and emergency assistance will also be available at area fire halls: Pinedale, Bondurant and Kendall Valley (off of Highway 352).
Cell phone service is usually not available in the remote backcountry such as the Wind River Mountains. Plan your route in advance, pack a map and be prepared. Have a compass.
Campers on public lands are discouraged from making campfires August is peak wildfire season and a small spark can rapidly become a large fire. Be aware of local fire restrictions that are in place.
Practice "Leave No Trace" ethics while visiting Pack It In, Pack It Out. Keep a clean camp and don’t invite wildlife into your camp. It’s dangerous for you and for them.
• Plan Ahead and Prepare
• Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
• Dispose of Waste Properly
• Leave What You Find
• Respect Wildlife
• Be Considerate of Other Visitors
• Be "bear aware" https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go/bears
• Leave gates how you found them. If they were closed, close them behind you, if they were open, leave them open.
Be aware of altitude sickness, Pinedale’s elevation is nearly 7,200 feet and most visiting areas are higher. Be familiar with the signs of altitude sickness. Drink plenty of water and rest as necessary. Arrive early to acclimate; avoid alcohol.
Finally, enjoy your time in Wyoming’s beautiful northwest mountains. Additional information is available from agency websites:
For the Pinedale, Wyoming area: http://pinedalewyeclipse.weebly.com/
https://www.blm.gov/node/11354 Bureau of Land Management
https://www.facebook.com/BridgerTetonBridger-Teton National Forest
http://www.sublettechamber.com/2017-total-solar-eclipse Sublette County Chamber of Commerce, 307-367-2242
www.visitpinedale.org Pinedale Visitor Information website
Grizzly depredations in Upper Green (posted 8/4/17)
Wolf News Roundup (posted 8/5/17)
On Bridger-Teton National Forest and National Parks in Wyoming
Teton Interagency Fire
Teton Interagency fire managers announce that the fire danger rating is high for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, National Elk Refuge, and Teton Interagency Dispatch Area. The potential for fire activity has increased due to normal summer curing of vegetation combined with hot temperatures, and dry, windy afternoons.
A high fire danger rating means that fires can start easily and spread quickly. When determining fire danger, fire managers use several indicators such as the moisture content of grasses, shrubs, and trees; projected weather conditions including temperatures and possible wind events; the ability of fire to spread after ignition; and availability of firefighting resources across the country.
As increased visitation associated with the total solar eclipse approaches, visitors and local residents alike are reminded that unattended or abandoned campfires can easily escalate into wildfires; therefore, it is important that all campfires are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving a site. Campers and day users should have a shovel on hand and a water bucket ready for use.
Visitors have abandoned 56 campfires on the Bridger-Teton National Forest and in Grand Teton National Park so far this summer. Campers should be mindful that they could be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire. Local residents and area visitors are reminded to know the risks, exercise caution, and practice heightened fire safety at all times.
Fireworks are not permitted in Grand Teton National Park, on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, or in the National Elk Refuge. It is critical that everyone comply with this regulation, especially given the very dry vegetation and warm temperatures throughout the Teton Interagency Dispatch Area.
The total solar eclipse on August 21 will take place during peak fire season in Western Wyoming. Visit www.tetonfires.com and agency social media sites to learn more about fire safety and what fire regulations are in place. To report a fire or smoke in Bridger-Teton National Forest or Grand Teton National Park, call the Teton Interagency Fire Dispatch Center at 307-739-3630.
Wyoming Department of Health
Wyoming residents and visitors of all ages hoping to enjoy the August 21 total solar eclipse should take steps to protect their eyes, according to a Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) official.
"We know many Wyoming communities will be treated to a total solar eclipse and that’s something to be excited about," said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state epidemiologist and acting state health officer with WDH. "Eye safety is very important in those specific areas and beyond because all of Wyoming will experience a solar eclipse of more than 90 percent ‘totality’ that morning."
During a total solar eclipse, the moon moves in front of the sun, covering it completely for a few minutes and darkening the sky. The last total solar eclipse in Wyoming occurred in 1918.
"While staring directly at the sun is never good, the temptation to look at the sun during the eclipse will no doubt be strong for all of us, including for children," Harrist said. "If you’re going to look at the sun from anywhere in Wyoming without protection your eyes could be damaged."
Harrist noted the only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers. "Ordinary sunglasses, even if they are very dark, will not allow you to safely look at the sun," she said.
Many vendors are selling eclipse glasses in stores or online and they may also be available at Wyoming eclipse-related community events. To do the job, eclipse glasses or solar viewers should:
- Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
- Display the manufacturer’s name and address
- Not be used if they have scratched or wrinkled lenses or are older than three years
"It’s also important you do not look at the sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or similar device," Harrist said. "You also should not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars or other device while also using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer. The concentrated solar rays can damage the filter and seriously injure your eyes."
Harrist said other options for safe viewing include pinhole projectors or other projection techniques, certain welding hoods or specialized solar filters for telescopes.
Comprehensive information about the eclipse, including more details about safe viewing, are available from NASA at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/.
Information about viewing the eclipse in Wyoming, including maps and location details, is available at http://www.travelwyoming.com/Eclipse.