Several large fires burning in Idaho's backcountry have raised concerns about public safety and hunter access.
In the interest of public safety the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have closed some areas. Other areas may be closed as fires grow or new fires start.
These closures may affect some hunting units, or access to hunting units. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will not close any hunts or change season dates in response to fire restrictions. But the department will accommodate hunters unable to participate because of fire.
Hunters whose hunting area was inaccessible because of fire closures during the entire hunting season may submit a written request for a refund or rain check to the License Section at the end of the season. The request must include details of the situation and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The only up front option for hunters is to voluntarily exchange a controlled hunt tag for a general tag in another area before the season opens. Hunters are encouraged to use their licenses and tags this year. Many areas not affected by fires are open for hunting and many seasons are long.
In conjunction with the Idaho Department of Lands policy, Fish and Game will prohibit open fires and campfires on all Fish and Game public access sites in Southwest Idaho, effective after midnight August 31, until the order is otherwise rescinded.
Hunters, as well as anyone else heading into the backcountry, are advised to check with Forest Service Ranger District offices before heading out.
Forest Service fire closures are listed under "current conditions" at individual forest Websites found at: http://www.fs.fed.us/ or the national fire incident information site at: http://www.inciweb.org/state/13/. For maps of closures and hunt units go to: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/news/fire/.