Fire Danger Prompts Stage II Fire Restrictions Across Northern IdahoFriday August 4, 2023
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, August 9, Stage II Fire Restrictions will be in effect on lands managed or administered by the US Forest Service, Idaho Panhandle National Forests, the Bureau of Land Management, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the Idaho Department of Lands, and the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, and Shoshone Counties. This also includes National Forest System lands in Washington and Montana that are administered by the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.
Moderate to severe drought conditions coupled with persistent high temperatures have raised the fire danger rating to very high and extreme across northern Idaho. The local Coeur d’Alene dispatch area recently saw an increase to Preparedness Level 4 out of 5, and conditions nationally are Preparedness Level 3. This means multiple geographic areas are experiencing large wildfires, suppression resources are being carefully prioritized, and the majority of other firefighting personnel and equipment are committed to wildland fire incidents. These conditions have prompted Stage II fire restrictions to be implemented in accordance with the criteria established in the 2023 Idaho Fire Restrictions Plan for all lands within the Coeur d’Alene Dispatch area.
Under Stage II fire restrictions, the following acts are prohibited on the restricted private, tribal, state and federally managed or protected lands, roads, and trails:
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.
- 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.
- Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails in accordance with existing travel management plans for non-commercial purposes, including ATVs, UTVs, and pickups.
- The following acts are prohibited from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.: (A patrol is required for one hour following cessation of all work as described in a, b, and c below.)
- Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine for felling, bucking, skidding, processing, log loading and hauling, road building and woodcutting or any
other activity employing the use of an internal combustion engine or off-road activity associated with industrial operations or fire wood gathering.
- Blasting, welding, or other activities that generate flame or flammable material. c. Using an explosive.
The following are exemptions to the Stage II Fire Restrictions:
- Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
- Persons using a fire or stove fire fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels. Such devices, including propane campfires, may be used only in an area cleared of flammable material.
- Persons using a generator with an approved spark arrester on areas that are cleared of all flammable materials within three feet of the generator.
- Log loading and hauling only from landings and existing roads.
- Private landowners using charcoal (disposed of properly) or propane barbecues on their own lands.
- Normal operations on crop lands.
- Emergency repair of public utilities and railroads as per conditions in Stage II Exemptions for Public Utilities and Railroads.
- Any federal, state, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force, in the performance of an official duty.
- Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.
- All land within a city boundary (unless otherwise restricted).
With the extreme temperatures and drought the region is experiencing, fire managers are asking the public to be extra cautious when spending time outdoors. As a reminder, you should never use fireworks on state and private forestland and rangeland and on public lands, roads, and trails. Possession and/or use of fireworks is always prohibited on federal public lands.
To view the Idaho Fire Restrictions Plan and a statewide map with current information regarding fire restrictions, please visit https://www.idl.idaho.gov/fire-management/fire-restrictions-finder.