Wildfire update: new restrictions

Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff Writer

The U.S. Forest Service announced Tuesday that all lands within the Coeur d’Alene Fire Restriction Area are under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. The Coeur d’Alene Fire Restriction Area includes “all state, federal and private forestland and rangeland in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, Shoshone and Latah Counties,” as well as public lands in Washington and Montana that are administered by the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are as follows:

• One cannot build, maintain, attend or use a fire, campfire or stove fire unless they’re within a designated recreation site in a permanent fireplace made of concrete or metal, or on their own land, and only within an owner-provided structure.

• There’s no smoking allowed unless it’s within an enclosed vehicle, building or designated area, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is clear of flammable materials.

Firewood cutting is still permitted under Stage 1 Restrictions, as well as using fire fueled solely by liquid petroleum or liquid petroleum gas fuels, as long as those fires are clear of flammable materials.

The Trestle Peak Fire, the only fire still of concern in the Sandpoint Ranger District, was announced as 100 percent contained as of last week. Trail No. 526 is the only closure still in the area.

The East Fork of Meadows Fire in the Bonners Ferry Ranger District, which was reported and put out July 27, is suspected to be human-caused as is under investigation.

The only fire still uncontained in the region is the North Fork Hughes Fire in the Priest Lake Ranger District. The fire is over 300 acres. As of Wednesday, eight wildfire specialists were assessing the situation and making plans for effective fire containment. There are two trails closed in the area due to public safety concerns: Trails No. 312 and 512. More closures may occur as the fire expands.

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