By Cameron Rasmusson
With the winter season a few months away, U.S. Forest Service officials are reminding local woodcutters we aren’t out of the woods yet as far as fire danger is concerned.
Stage 2 fire safety restrictions are still in effect, which means that firewood gathers can only cut wood until 1 p.m. Afterward, they must hang out for an hour to ensure no fires were started throughout the woodcutting process.
According to U.S. Forest Service officials, woodcutters usually start getting anxious around the beginning of the autumn season to start collecting firewood. However, in a season already remarkable for severe wildfires, the possibility that sparks from cutting tools hitting rocks might start a new wildfire is a risk they’re not willing to take. Once the fire danger subsides, woodcutters will have more options at their disposal, including the ability to make campfires and the elimination of time restrictions on harvesting periods.
As always, the Sandpoint Ranger Station is happy to help out residents with any of their woodcutting activities. The office issues permits for firewood cutting as well as maps detailing appropriate sites for wood collection. Give them a call at (208) 263-5111 with any questions.
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