Press Release

Stage 2 fire restrictions to be implemented in north-central Idaho starting Friday, July 16

Press Release courtesy of Jim Wimer, Public Affairs Specialist / Fire Information (208) 451-4654 • james.wimer@usda.gov

The Grangeville Interagency Dispatch Zone, which includes lands and fire response areas for the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Lands, Clearwater Potlatch Timber Protective Association, and Nez Perce Tribe, has coordinated initial attack responses for over 70 new wildland fires that have started since Monday, July 5. These land managers are working closely together to determine response priorities and how to most efficiently share and allocate their limited firefighting resources based on real time information and values at risk.

Based on this recent fire activity and current EXTREME fire conditions across the region, land management agencies and fire managers in the Grangeville Fire Restrictions Area have decided to implement STAGE 2 FIRE RESTRICTIONS starting at 12:01 A.M. on Friday, July 16.

“We will be moving directly into Stage 2 Fire Restrictions this season,” said Cheryl Probert, Forest Supervisor for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests “We decided not to implement Stage 1 restrictions immediately because we meet the conditions now for Stage 2 restrictions; we reached that threshold very quickly after the last heat wave”.

“Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are stricter than Stage 1, so we wanted to make sure everyone, including those working in industries that operate machinery and equipment within this restriction area, have ample time to prepare for these restrictions,” explained Probert. “This is why the decision was made to implement these Stage 2 restrictions on Friday, July 16 and not sooner.”

Even though Stage 2 Fire Restrictions will not be immediately implemented, land managers ask the public to continue being extremely careful with any activity that can cause a spark. Individuals are encouraged to begin following the Stage 2 Fire Restrictions protocol even before the restrictions are formally in effect.

“We greatly appreciate the continued efforts of everyone in our local communities and everyone visiting our local public lands who are taking precautions to prevent human–caused wildfires,” said Probert.

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests fire information is available online at https://bit.ly/NPCFireInfo on social media at www.facebook.com/NPClwNFs and www.twitter.com/NPClwNFs, on the forest’s official mobile app (search “Nez Perce Clearwater” in your app store), or by calling your local ranger station. Report all wildfires to the Grangeville Interagency Dispatch Center (208-983-6800) or call 911.

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

The following acts are prohibited:

1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire (wood or gas fueled), 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.

4. The following acts are prohibited from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. A patrol is required for 1 hour (3 hours for anyone engaged in a Forest Operation requiring a Certificate of Compliance) 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, road building and woodcutting during industrial operations or firewood gathering.

    b. Blasting, welding, or other activities that generate flame or flammable material.          c. Using an explosive.

Exemptions

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 devises, including propane campfires, may be used only in an area cleared of flammable material.

3. Persons using stove fires with a chimney of at least five (5) feet in length and employing a spark arrester with a maximum mesh screen opening of ¼ inch on federal lands designated as the Frank Church River of No Return, Gospel Hump, or Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Areas.

4. Persons using metal fire pans* (see definition) within ¼ mile of:

     a. The Salmon River from the Corn Creek launch site to Vinegar Creek.

     b. The Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

     c. The Selway River from the Paradise boat launch to Race creek.

     d. The Snake River from Hells Canyon Dam to the City of Lewiston.

     e. Salmon River from Vinegar Creek to its mouth at the Snake River below the mean high-water mark. *A metal fire pan with sides at least three inches high with a metal grate on top. Pack-out of ashes is required.

5. Persons using a generator with an approved spark arrester on areas that are cleared of all flammable materials within three feet of the generator.

6. Log loading and hauling only from landings and existing roads.

7. Private landowners using charcoal (disposed of properly) or propane barbecues on their own lands.

8. Crop lands.

9. Emergency repair of public utilities and railroads as per conditions in Stage II Exemptions for Public Utilities and Railroads.

10. Any federal, state, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force, in the performance of an official duty.

11. Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.

12. All land within a city boundary.

An exemption does not absolve an individual or organization from liability or responsibility for any fire started by the exempted activity