Idaho’s Not Out of the Woods Yet, Wildfire Risk Remains High for Most of State

Friday September 1, 2023

Boise, Idaho – With hunting seasons opening across the state and the Labor Day weekend on Idaho’s doorstep, officials from the Idaho Department of Lands and the non-profit group Idaho Sportsmen have an important message for outdoor enthusiasts.

IDL Director Dustin Miller and Idaho Sportsmen Executive Director Benn Brocksome agree that fire season isn’t over yet, and caution is needed because the fire risk for most of Idaho remains high or very high.

“Although fire restrictions across Idaho have been lifted due to cooler weather and rain, we must remain vigilant and remember that with the privilege of lighting a campfire comes the responsibility of putting it out, dead out,” said Brocksome.

“After rainstorms, moisture in our forests and rangelands can quickly evaporate, creating a false sense of security for people lighting campfires,” added Miller.

Both Miller and Brocksome also agree that it’s important that you never leave a campfire unattended – that includes when bedding down for the night, or even if you expect to be gone from camp for just a short time.

“Make sure you douse, stir, and repeat until your campfire is cold to the touch, every time, no exceptions,” urged Brocksome.

When pulling a trailer, ensuring your vehicle is properly maintained and safety chains won’t drag is crucial. “Dragging chains or improperly maintained tires can spark wildfires along roadways,” said Miller. “When parking or making a roadside stop, remember a muffler is hot enough to ignite dry grasses, so please watch where you park.”

Beyond damaging pristine recreation areas or destroying critical wildlife habitat, a person who starts a wildfire and is found negligent can face severe financial penalties.

“We investigate the cause of every fire on the 9 million acres we protect,” said Miller. “If you start a fire negligently, under Idaho law you may be responsible for the entire cost of suppressing the fire, which can cost millions of dollars.”

For fire prevention tips that will let you make the most of this long weekend and hunting season, visit the Idaho Department of Lands website at