By Reader Staff
Moderate to severe drought conditions coupled with persistent high temperatures have contributed to the decision to raise fire restrictions to Stage II across North Idaho fire districts. These lands include those managed or administered by the U.S. Forest Service; Idaho Panhandle National Forests; Bureau of Land Management; the Coeur d’Alene Tribe; the Idaho Department of Lands; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone counties.
Restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.
The fire danger rating has been listed at “extreme” across North Idaho since July 31, and has not changed, with multiple geographic areas experiencing large wildfires.
Under Stage II fire restrictions, the following acts are prohibited on restricted private, tribal, state, and federally managed or protected lands, roads and trails:
• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire;
• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a designated recreational site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials;
• Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails in accordance with existing travel management plans for non-commercial purposes, including ATVs, UTVs and pickups;
• And, from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine; blasting, welding or other activities that generate flame or flammable material; and using an explosive.
In local wildfire updates, the Buckskin 2 Fire reported on Aug. 4 is currently listed at 185 acres as of Aug. 8. Due to steep terrain, the fire is currently listed at 0% containment, with 80 personnel working on fire suppression. Road closures include the intersection of USFS roads 203 and 332, the intersection of 1021 and 332, as well as roads 1533 and 305 in Clark Fork.
For a full list of exemptions to the Stage II fire restrictions, see idl.idaho.gov.
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