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Let’s keep this 4th of July from going up in flames

The ongoing drought throughout the Western US has caused officials to set fire bans, prohibiting the use of fireworks for this weekend's festivities. | SweetwaterNOW photo.

Here are two things that don’t couple well for this weekend's holiday celebrations: fire hazards and fourth of July fireworks. We’ve seen the news about the concerning heat waves throughout the PNW and ongoing drought problems in the West, so there’s no turning a blind eye when it comes to lighting up some roman candles to pay tribute to Independence Day. As fun as it may sound, the consequences are just too severe. 

On the US Wildfire Public Information Map, you can see more than 300,000 acres currently affected by wildfires, most all located in the Western US. On top of that scary statistic, the NFPA claims that 19,500 fires were started by fireworks in the year 2018 alone. In hopes of avoiding wildfire threats here in the Tetons, Stage 1 fire restrictions were set in place this week for Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and National Elk Refuge. So folks, exchange those fireworks for glow sticks this year, don’t leave any fire unattended, play it safe, and let’s all celebrate in style. 

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Deadly flash flood in Grand Canyon
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Deadly flash flood in Grand Canyon

Deadly flash flood in Grand Canyon

Deadly flash flood swept through the Grand Canyon last week, leaving many injured and one dead. | Benji Xie photo. After an exceptionally dry summer, the Grand Canyon received a heavy amount of rain this past week...enough rain to cause a flash flood. During the hot and dry summer period, the region’s ground is unable to absorb large amounts of water, causing runoff that ultimately floods canyons. Last Wednesday evening, a flood hit the Tatahatso camp on the Colorado River where 30

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​The Caldor Fire Is Now Engulfing South Lake Tahoe
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​The Caldor Fire Is Now Engulfing South Lake Tahoe

​The Caldor Fire Is Now Engulfing South Lake Tahoe

California’s Caldor Fire is just one of many burning rampantly across the West, but just took an ominous turn as it heads straight to Lake Tahoe. As of Monday morning, residents of South Lake Tahoe stand under mandatory evacuation orders with the fire racing towards the lake. On Sunday evening, photographers captured the fire burning through Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort. Luckily no major structure damage was reported, but images show the ski area’s snowmaking guns spraying water on massive

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​Wildfire Smoke Decimates Western Cities
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​Wildfire Smoke Decimates Western Cities

​Wildfire Smoke Decimates Western Cities

There are currently 107 wildfires burning nationwide, with large ones in California blanketing Nevada, Utah, and Colorado with dense and unhealthy smoke. | Breezometer map. This past weekend felt pretty apocalyptic across the West, with skies turning orange, ash depositing on surfaces, and air quality indexes so bad that many of us were warned to avoid going outside. In fact, Denver and Salt Lake City were both ranked at the top of the list of worldwide air pollution. Here in Jackson