By Ben Olson
Despite the cooling temperatures and smoky skies this week, drought conditions and extreme fire danger levels continue to persist in North Idaho. These conditions prompted officials to raise fire restrictions to Stage 2 on Wednesday. The restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.
The increased restrictions are being implemented for all state, federal and private forestland in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, Shoshone and Latah Counties, which includes the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.
Under Stage 2 restrictions, any open fire, including a campfire or stove fire, is prohibited on restricted private, state and federally managed lands, roads and trails. Persons using a fire of stove fire fueled solely by LPG fuels may be used in an area clear of flammable material.
Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building or a designated recreation site. Persons may smoke while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren of all flammable materials.
Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails is prohibited, which includes the use of ATVs, UTVs and pickups.
Operating a chainsaw or any other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine associated with firewood gathering, blasting welding or other activities that generate flame or flammable material, or using an explosive is prohibited from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Possession or use of fireworks is always prohibited on federal lands. There are exceptions to all land within a city boundary.
Please visit www.idahofireinfo.com/p/fire-restrictions.html for a detailed map and current information regarding fire restrictions, or call the Sandpoint Ranger District at (208) 263-5111.
While we have you ...
... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.
You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal