Extreme fire danger, Stage 2 fire restrictions in place for Idaho Panhandle
COEUR, d ‘ALENE, Idaho — North Idaho’s fire danger has gone from high to extreme because of the severe drought in the region.
Because of this, Stage 2 fire restrictions are now in place for Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone counties.
Here are what those restrictions entail:
FIRE AND CHARCOAL
No fires or charcoal can be lit, but propane fires and barbecues are fine as long as you’re away from any flammable materials.
Smoking outside of a car or building is not allowed.
You can smoke outside if you are in a designated recreation site that is at least three feet in diameter, empty and has no flammable materials.
CROSS COUNTRY TRAVEL
Driving or riding a four-wheeler or ATV is only allowed on designated roads or trails.
Chainsaws, equipment powered by a gas engine, blasting, welding or any other activities that create a flame are not allowed between 1 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Fireworks are also still illegal on public lands.
As firefighting resources are already spread so thin, local fire crews are urging people to adhere to the restrictions.
“We’re also at a National Preparedness Level 4, which essentially means that most of the available resources really throughout the country are already assigned to fires,” said Craig Etherton with the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department. “So we can’t afford to get a massive other fire or big fires starting because we’ll have very small crews available to fight those. It’ll take us longer.”
Etherton says Stage 2 restrictions usually aren’t expected until August or September.
It’s already a very active wildfire season and by following these new restrictions, he says we’ll keep firefighters and the community safer.
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