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Fire restrictions in effect for southern, central Idaho

With the threat of wildfire danger high in many areas, state and federal land management agencies have implemented fire restrictions.
Credit: inciweb.org
FILE PHOTO: A fire burning in the Salmon-Challis National Forest

JEROME, Idaho — The threat of wildfire danger remains high across large areas of southern and central Idaho.

Because the danger continues to increase, state and federal land management agencies have implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions on lands within south-central Idaho on Thursday, August 20. 

Fire restrictions are intended to decrease the chance of any preventable fires in the designated areas.

Stage 1 fire restrictions will be in place on federal, state and private forest and rangelands, roads, and trails, situated in Blaine, Camas, and Custer counties.

These restrictions are being implemented by the Sawtooth National Forest, Bureau of Land Management Twin Falls District, and the Idaho Department of Lands.

Under the Stage 1 fire restrictions, the following acts are prohibited on state and federally managed or protected lands, roads, and trails:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire or stove fire except within a designated recreation site and in a permanent concrete or metal fire ring, or on private land, and only within an owner-provided structure.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or designated recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

The following are exemptions to the Stage 1 fire restrictions:

  • Persons using fire fueled solely by liquid petroleum or liquid petroleum gas fuels. Such devices, including propane campfires, may be used only in an area cleared of flammable material.
  • Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
  • All land within a city boundary is exempted. 

With the fire season well underway, these restrictions are intended to keep visitors to public lands safe as well as prevent dangerous and damaging wildfires.

Fire management officials in east-central Idaho will begin Stage 1 fire restrictions, effective on Friday, August 21.  The Central Idaho Fire Restrictions Area encompasses all Forest Service lands (outside of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and Jim McClure Jerry Peak Wilderness) within the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

Stage 1 fire restrictions apply to campfires and smoking. Under Stage 1 restrictions, the following acts are prohibited:

1. Igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire outside a fire structure that is provided by the agency.
2. Smoking outside an enclosed vehicle or building.

Exceptions to the above Stage 1 prohibitions include the following:

1. Persons with a special use authorization, other Forest Service authorization, or a written permit specifically exempting them from the effect of the order
2. Persons using a stove or grill that is fueled solely by liquid petroleum fuels
3. Persons using a stove fire (defined in the order)
4. Persons using metal fire pans within one-quarter mile of the of the south side of the Main Salmon River
5. Persons smoking while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is clear of all flammable materials
6. Any federal, state, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty

Under these restrictions, campfires are allowed only in recreation sites within metal/concrete fire pits. The restrictions will remain in effect until there is a significant change in fire danger.

Fire danger across east-central Idaho is very high. Rangelands and forested lands at all elevations are dry. Fire management officials are hopeful that by initiating Stage 1 fire restrictions, there will be fewer person-caused wildland fires.