Fireworks ban still in place for NF

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

The Sandpoint Ranger District would like to emphasize that all fireworks are prohibited in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest year-round.

“There are campfires allowed” said Capt. Eric Morgan with the Sandpoint Ranger District. “No closures are in effect right now.”

Morgan said that campfires are allowed in designated sites as well as primitive sites: “The important thing is to clear out any debris or flammable fuel that’s around the campfire area where an ember can transition and ignite something that will continue into the thicker forest.”

Thanks to June precipitation averages that bounced back from last year’s low, the outlook for fire season remains optimistic.

“It looks pretty good,” said Morgan. “We’re sitting at ‘moderate’ now … fuel moistures are high, there is plenty of rain in the high country. We’ll have a cold front moving in the first week of July after these 90 degree days.”

According to the Western Regional Climate Center, Sandpoint’s June rainfall total is 2.25 inches for a 100-year average. Last year’s total came in at a mere 0.35 inches—a scant 15 percent of the norm. While this June’s rainfall total came in around 0.58 inches, the extra precipitation and lower temperatures have kept the forests lush.

According to meteorologist Randy Mann, it wasn’t so much the precipitation totals that helped this year, but how we received it.

“In 2015, all of the moisture came in the first few days, then we didn’t get anything after that,” said Mann. “This month, it was a little more spread out.”

Mann said this summer’s weather will be a grab bag, but will mostly resemble a “normal” summer in the Northwest: “We’ll have plenty of warm days, but there will be days with below normal readings,” he said.

Mann also pointed out that though wildfire severity is downgraded from last year, it’s still not out of the question: “Although I expect a summer season that will not likely have the long periods of extreme heat and dryness, that doesn’t mean we won’t see our share of wildfires.”

One thing to look forward to: “Assuming that sea-surface temperatures continue to cool down, the upcoming winter of 2016-17 should be snowier than normal, which is great news for area ski and snowboarders,” said Mann.

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

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.