By Cameron Rasmusson
Just about everyone greeted the turn from blazing heat to cool, rainy weather this week with a sigh of relief. But forest firefighters aren’t out of the woods just yet, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
First, the good news: Fire restrictions have been lifted across North Idaho. That means campfires and off-road vehicle use are permissible once again and woodcutters can harvest firewood after 1 p.m. without any worries. According to Jason Kirchner of the U.S. Forest Service, the shift to consistent rain over the weekend significantly relaxed worries about new fire starts.
On the other hand, firefighters will likely be fighting fires for the near future, or at least until the weather shifts completely into new seasonal trends.
“We still have a lot of fire in the landscape,” Kirchner said. “It’s just not spreading.”
Kirchner estimates the number of fire personnel in the field hasn’t changed much this week. On the contrary, as some fires become more controlled, firefighters are likely just being shuffled to the next blaze.
“This goes to show that with a natural disaster, these things depend very heavily on the weather,” Kirchner said.
Indeed, the only thing that will stop fires is likely a complete shift in weather trend. Once low temperatures and higher precipitation become the norm for the region, Kirchner said North Idaho will finally be able to kiss a devastating 2015 fire season goodbye.
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