Burn ban issued for Kootenai County

Fire Watch

KOOTENAI CO., Idaho — A burn ban will go into effect for all of Kootenai County starting at midnight Thursday. 

The Kootenai County Fire Chiefs Association issued the ban for all fires, except for recreational fires in an approved fire pit, because of extreme temperatures and low humidity in the forecast. 

Those who do have approved recreational fires must meet specific requirements, including the following: 

  • Outdoor recreational fires must not have a total fuel area greater than three feet in diameter and no more than two feet in height. They can only be used for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes. 
  • Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions that could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition. Recreational fires in approved portable outdoor fireplaces shall not be conducted within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material.
  • Fires shall be constantly attended to until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher with a minimum of 4-A rating or other methods of extinguishing a fire shall be available for immediate utilization.

The Fire Chiefs Association also warned about the use of fireworks as the Fourth of July holiday approaches. They asked people to use “safe and sane” fireworks in gravel or asphalt areas, away from vegetation and buildings. “Non-aerial common fireworks” are those that stay near the ground and do not move outside of a 20-foot diameter. 

Other fireworks, typically aerial ones, are illegal in Idaho and present a huge risk for sparking wildfires. These fireworks include bottle rockets, skyrockets, roman candles, firecrackers, missiles, parachutes, sky flyers, display shells and aerial items. 

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