Interagency News Release courtesy of Kary Maddox, Fire Information Officer-Idaho Panhandle National Forest, firstname.lastname@example.org
COEUR D’ALENE, ID – Drought conditions coupled with historic high temperatures have raised the fire danger rating to very high and extreme across northern Idaho. The local dispatch area recently saw an increase to Preparedness Level 4 (PL4), and conditions nationally are also PL4. This means several geographic areas are experiencing large, complex wildfires, suppression resources are spread thin, and the majority of other firefighting personnel are committed to wildland fire incidents. These unprecedented conditions have prompted Stage II fire restrictions to be implemented in accordance with the criteria established in the 2021 Idaho Fire Restrictions Plan for all lands in the Coeur d’Alene Dispatch area. Stage II Fire Restrictions will be implemented beginning at 00:01 a.m. on July 12, 2021 and will remain in effect until further notice.
Stage II Fire Restrictions are being implemented in the Coeur d’Alene Fire Restriction Area, which includes all state, federal, and private forestland and rangeland in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, and Shoshone Counties. This also includes National Forest System lands in Washington and Montana that are administered by the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. These restrictions are being implemented by agencies managing lands or providing wildland fire protection in the area, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Idaho Department of Lands (IDL), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
Under Stage II fire restrictions, the following acts are prohibited on the restricted private, state and federally
managed or protected lands, roads, and trails:
1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a designated recreation site or while stopped in
an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
3. Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails in accordance with existing travel
management plans for non-commercial purposes including ATVs, UTVs, and pickups.
4. The following acts are prohibited from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.: (A patrol is required for one hour
following cessation of all work as described in a, b, and c below.)
a. Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine for felling,
bucking, skidding, processing, log loading and hauling, road building and woodcutting or any
other activity employing the use of an internal combustion engine or off-road activity associated
with industrial operations or fire wood gathering.
b. Blasting, welding, or other activities that generate flame or flammable material.
c. Using an explosive.
The following are exemptions to the Stage II Fire Restrictions:
1. Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
2. Persons using a fire or stove fire fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels. Such devices, including
propane campfires, may be used only in an area cleared of flammable material.
3. Persons using a generator with an approved spark arrester on areas that are cleared of all flammable
materials within three feet of the generator.
4. Log loading and hauling only from landings and existing roads and only on non-federal lands.
5. Private landowners using charcoal (disposed of properly) or propane barbecues on their own lands.
6. Normal operations on crop lands.
7. Emergency repair of public utilities and railroads as per conditions in Stage II Exemptions for Public
Utilities and Railroads. Please see Appendix 11 of the 2021 Idaho Interagency Fire Restrictions plan
available at http://www.idahofireinfo.com/.
8. Any federal, state, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force, in the
performance of an official duty.
9. Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by
written posted notice.
10. All land within a city boundary.
With the extreme temperatures and drought the region is experiencing, fire managers are asking the public to be
extra cautious when spending time in the outdoors. As a reminder, fireworks are prohibited on state and private
forestland and rangeland, and on public lands, roads, and trails in Idaho during closed fire season (May 10
through October 20). Possession and/or use of fireworks is always prohibited on federal public lands.
Please visit http://www.idahofireinfo.com/p/fire-restrictions.html for a detailed map and current information
regarding fire restrictions or contact the local land management office.