Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. More information about fire restrictions can be found in the Idaho Fire Restrictions Plan.
Campfires are allowed in developed recreation sites with owner provided fire structures. Owner provided fire structures relates to the owner of the land, so personally owned charcoal grills, fire pans, wood or charcoal fueled “sheep herder” stoves, etc. are restricted on land you do not own when we are in Stage I fire restrictions.
Your summer home lease probably is included in the restriction because your leased lot is not a designated recreation area under the definition listed above. It is not signed as a commercial campground or picnic area and the owner of the land (federal) in all likelihood did not provide your fire structure.
If you live within a city limit or incorporated area, your city fire chief determines local direction. If your privately owned land is outside of a city limit or incorporated area you may have a campfire on your own land only within an owner-provided fire structure. Otherwise, you are restricted from having a campfire under state statutes (Idaho Code, Title 38, Sections 115 and 116).
An owner-provided fire structure is a permanent metal or concrete improvement specifically designed for the purpose of containing a campfire, or cooking fire provided by the agency or landowner with a clearance of ten feet on all sides that is free of any flammable vegetation.
Metal fire pans are not considered to be owner-provided fire structures.
No, unless you have a written permit which authorizes the prohibited activities by the appropriate agency official granting a specific exemption.
Any stove fueled solely by liquid petroleum (i.e. gas, white gas fuel etc.) or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) (i.e. propane, etc.) fuel is OK under both Stage 1 and Stage 2. Stoves fueled by wood that are not being used in a building or vehicle are prohibited under both Stage 1 and Stage 2.
Metal fire pans can be used in the following locations: by people who are within ¼ mile of:
- The Salmon River from the Corn Creek launch site to Vinegar Creek.
- The Middle Fork of the Salmon River.
- The Selway River from the Paradise boat launch to Race Creek.
- The Snake River from Hells Canyon Dam to the City of Lewiston.
- Salmon River from Vinegar Creek to its mouth at the Snake River below the
mean high-water mark.
- South Fork of the Snake River from Palisades Dam to Mike Walker Boat Access.
- Henry’s Fork of the Snake River from St. Anthony to Mike Walker Boat Access.
A metal fire pan is an a durable, metal pan at least 12-inches x 12-inches
wide, with at least a 3-inch lip around its outer edge and sufficient to contain a fire and its remains, and a metal grate on top.
A metal fire pan is not considered to be an owner-provided fire structure.
Visitors must elevate fire pans off the ground to prevent scorching of the soil. If the fire pan does not have legs to elevate it, rocks must be placed underneath the corners of the fire pan. All ash must be removed and carried out of the river corridor in a sealed container or durable bag.
Sheep herder stoves are prohibited in wall tents because they are not being used in a building or vehicle and since they burn wood or charcoal are considered the same as a campfire. They are also usually not used in developed recreation sites, and even if they are, the stoves are not considered owner provided fire structures. There is potential for these stoves to cause wildfires both while in use and when users discard the ashes.
Charcoal grills can easily cause wildfires because they can hold heat long period of time and users usually discard the ashes. Portable charcoal grills can also easily be tipped over and can produce blowing embers which can easily ignite vegetation during extreme fire conditions.
Charcoal is OK to use under Stage I Fire Restrictions in developed recreation sites in owner provided fire structures ONLY- because the owner provided structure is permanently mounted in a fixed position and cannot be easily tipped over.
Using liquid or gas fuel eliminates ashes or hot charcoal briquettes that need disposal. These types of stoves do not produce embers. Additionally, they have an ON/OFF switch that once “OFF” have a substantially reduced ability to ignite a wildfire.
Dutch Ovens in and of themselves are not restricted, but how they are heated is. During Stage 1 fire restrictions if you are using wood or charcoal, they may be used ONLY in developed recreation sites in owner provided fire structures. They can be used anywhere at any time utilizing stoves fueled by liquid petroleum or liquid petroleum gas.
Motorized Vehicles & Equipment
Under Stage 1 fire restrictions, motorized vehicle use is not restricted due to wildfire issues. Visitors are reminded, however, to consult agency travel plan maps because there are identified roads and trails that are closed to motorized travel either seasonally or year-round. Some agencies also may have restrictions which require users to stay on designated roads and trails year-round regardless of whether there is fire restriction in place or not.
Idaho Code requires between May 10th and October 20th, regardless of whether there is a fire restriction in place, all internal combustion engines must be equipped with properly installed, maintained, and effectively working spark arrestors. Additionally, all operators of motorcycles, trail bikes and all-terrain vehicles and similar type motorized vehicles are required to carry one serviceable shovel and one (1 gallon minimum) water container.
During Stage 1 fire restrictions there are no restrictions on the use of chainsaws or generators.
Users are reminded that personal use and/or commercial use firewood gathering permits are still required. Many federal and state land agencies have identified designated areas where these activities are allowed and other areas where wood gathering is prohibited.
Idaho Code requires between May 10th and October 20th regardless of whether there is a fire restriction in place, all internal combustion engines must be equipped with properly installed, maintained, and effectively working spark arrestors.
Under Stage 1 fire restrictions, smoking is PROHIBITED except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
Fireworks are always illegal on all federal lands. Even possession of fireworks is illegal on these lands!
Prior to igniting fireworks on privately owned lands, consult your local fire department since this activity may be illegal under city and/or county ordinances.