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Field Program

[Image Description: Two MCC members taking a brief break; one is sitting on a rock, the other is standing nearby. They are both in their uniforms, looking out at the expansive, mountain view surrounding them.]

The FX of Fire

Four crew members wearing hard hats cluster in a circle above the camera, and against a blue sky. They are smiling and laughing.

This month, our crew has followed in the footsteps of the Teton fire effects team closely. From Hoback Canyon to Grouse Mountain, we braved the backcountry, away from our home of Colter Bay campground. We quickly missed our easy access to a sink and traded our dear mosquitoes for horseflies. Yet, the change was mostly for the best. We saw fantastic sunsets and got to tread on paths burned decades ago. To measure the change of a burned landscape, the Fire Effects team first takes pictures at the exact same location and angle every year or every 5 years. Then, they do what is called Brown Transects to measure the change in litter, duff and overall vegetation in the area. Another task of Fire Effects is to help determinate the fire danger level. To do so, they take samples of various fuel material and determine their moisture content back at their office. We are so grateful to be able to help them out throughout our season!

This month, we have also started taking down live and dead trees, snags, under the close supervision of the various wildland firefighting engine crews of Grand Teton. With them, we also practiced a medical scenario in which our leader pretended to have cut off his leg with a chainsaw. Tragedy! Thankfully, we got him onto a fictional helicopter in due time. Oh man!

That’s it for today, see you next time for our last blog of the season! Who knows what will happen in this last hitch?!