This summer has had fewer wildfires than last year, but people going fishing and hunting need to stay abreast of conditions and active fires. The Pioneer Fire between Idaho City and Lowman is currently the largest in the state, but it's not the only one. To see where fires are currently burning in Idaho, go to Fish and Game's fire map page at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/maps/realtime/fire/.
That page provides a quick overview of fires in the Idaho and neighboring states. Even if there are no fires in the vicinity, places where you recreate can be affected by smoke. The Idaho Smoke Information page available http://idsmoke.blogspot.com/, gives you a map showing air quality around the state.
Information including current fires, area closures, maps, air quality indexes and more is also available on Fish and Game’s Fire Page at https://idfg.idaho.gov/fire.
People also want to pay attention to fire restrictions if they are recreating on public lands. This can be a little trickier because you have to know who manages a particular parcel of public land. But it's important to remember fire safety during summers, and if you're going to have a campfire, have a bucket of water and a shovel handy.
It's also a good idea to camp in developed campgrounds that have established fire pits. These areas are typically cleared of nearby vegetation, which reduces fire danger. If you're going to camp outside of developed areas, take extra precautions and beware that having a campfire may be illegal on some lands if they're under fire restrictions.
If you're traveling in the Clearwater National Forest, Forest Service officials issued this news release on Aug. 5:
Public health and safety due to wildfire has prompted the closure of Forest Service road #358, KoosKooskia road. Forest Service trail #30 is closed entirely and trail #45 is closed from the trailhead at the junction of road #358 to the junction of trail #30. Forest Service trail #6, Cedar Ridge, remains closed.
The fire is currently not threatening life or property, but precautionary point protection mitigations in the form of sprinklers have been added to the Bridge Creek, Hoodoo Creek and Swamp Creek bridges. Long term management of the fire is planned to meet resource objectives and maintain the natural occurrence of fire in wilderness. The fire will continue to be closely monitored by ground and aerial resources to protect potential values at risk.
The current Fire Danger level in the Powell area is Very High. There are no fire restrictions at this time, but recreationists are reminded to use caution with any outdoor activity that may cause a spark. Never leave campfires unattended. Pour water and add dirt to your campfire until your campfire is cold. Remember: If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
Fire and closure information will be posted on InciWeb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4874, the Lolo Pass Visitor Center, Savage Pass, Elk Summit, the junction of the Forest Service road 358 and Forest Service road 360 and on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests website.