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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ibex and Honeymoon Fires Trail Closures Rescinded

Salmon-Challis National Forest



Celebrate your public lands during BLM’s National Public Lands Day event

News Release
DATE:  September 20, 2017
CONTACT: Suzanne Endsley, 208-769-5004 or sendsley@blm.gov

Celebrate your public lands during BLM’s National Public Lands Day event

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho –Join us in celebrating your public lands during the Bureau of Land Management’s National Public Lands Day volunteer event in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday, Sept. 28.  This year’s event will be held at the BLM’s Blackwell Island Recreation Area, two miles south of Coeur d’Alene beginning at 9 a.m. until noon.

Volunteer activities for the work day include helping construct a post and pole fence along the edge of the native plant garden at Blackwell Island, participating in general site maintenance and mulching of the plant garden.  If you are interested in lending a hand, please dress appropriately for the weather and terrain and plan to get a little dirty for a good cause!

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to enhance public lands for all to enjoy.  Across Idaho, the BLM expects hundreds of volunteers and partners to take part in National Public Lands Day events.  

For additional information, please contact Suzanne Endsley, BLM public affairs officer, at 208-769-5004 or visit https://www.blm.gov/get-involved/volunteers/national-public-lands-day



-BLM-



The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fire restrictions across the Coeur d’Alene Dispatch area rescinded


    
    


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   CONTACTS:   Bureau of Land Management
September 18, 2017                                                                Coeur d’Alene District Office (208) 769-5004 Coeur d’Alene Tribe Fire Management (208) 686-1199 Kootenai Tribe of Idaho (208) 267-3519
Idaho Department of Lands (208) 769-1530
Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Panhandle Region (208) 769-1414
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (208) 378-5243
U.S. Forest Service
Priest Lake Ranger District (208) 443-2512
Bonners Ferry Ranger District (208) 267-5561
Sandpoint Ranger District (208) 263-5111
Coeur d'Alene River Ranger District Fernan (208) 664-2318
Silver Valley (208) 783-2363
St. Joe Ranger District
St. Maries (208) 245-2531
Avery (208) 245-4517
Supervisor’s Office (208) 765-7223


Fire restrictions across the Coeur d’Alene Dispatch area rescinded


COEUR D’ALENE, ID –Agencies responsible for managing lands and providing wildland fire protection in the Coeur d’Alene Dispatch area have lifted fire restrictions for the entire area. With the cooler temperatures and recent rainfall, conditions no longer warrant extreme fire danger; however, we are still reminding the public to be careful with their fires. Fire managers would like to thank everyone for their patience during fire restrictions and for their help preventing wildfires.

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Unhealthy smoke and large wildfires call for increased safety awareness


BOISE, Idaho – Following a few passing storms over the weekend, some of the smoke in the Treasure Valley has cleared and blue skies have begun to return. This is a welcome relief from the past 7-10 days, when air quality conditions in Idaho ranged from unhealthy to very unhealthy. The smoke and unhealthy air were the result of wildfires in Idaho and neighboring states. While some of these fires were started naturally by lightning, many of them were human-caused and preventable.

The thick grass that grew in spring and summer of 2017, along with dead woody debris in forested areas, have created conditions for the long-lasting fires that blanketed Idaho communities with smoke. Although fires caused by lightning usually decrease in the fall, an abundance of dry fuels makes our landscape more susceptible to fire if an ignition occurs.

Fortunately, there are steps everyone can take to reduce human-caused wildfires and the threat of dangerous wildfires and unhealthy smoke.

Roadside starts are one of the major causes of wildfires in Idaho. Before driving onto public lands, make sure vehicles and trailers are properly maintained by ensuring the safety chain is not dragging, wheel bearings are well greased, and tires are inflated to the proper level to help prevent a blowout. Sparks can be thrown from a vehicle or trailer that is not properly maintained, causing roadside fires without the driver’s knowledge. Exhaust systems can reach up to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit, and pulling off the road and parking on dry grass can ignite a wildfire.

Hunting season is upon us and cool morning temperatures often mean building a fire for warmth. Make sure to completely extinguish all campfires before leaving campsites. Fires left unattended or not completely extinguished have been known to cause wildfires when embers fly outside of the fire ring. Weather can also warm up in the afternoon, creating conditions for grass or brush fires.

Fire officials are urging Idahoans to enjoy their time outdoors and the many recreation opportunities our public lands offer, but also to be attentive and report wildfires or suspicious activity immediately. If you see something, say something by contacting your local fire agency or by dialing 9-1-1.

Early reporting means fires can be extinguished when they are small, making firefighters’ jobs easier. It takes everyone’s help to make sure that we “Keep Idaho Green.”  Educating your family and friends about the risk unwanted wildfire poses to Idaho’s rangeland and forest ecosystems is one of the best ways to reduce fires in our state.

For the most current fire restrictions and wildfire information visit: http://www.idahofireinfo.com, call the Idaho Fire Restrictions Hotline at 1-844-433-4737, and follow us on Twitter @BLMIdahoFire.
Air Quality information can be found on the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality webpage at: http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality/monitoring.aspx


Friday, September 15, 2017

Land Management Agencies lift Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in most zones of the Payette Fire Restriction Area


McCall, Idaho – With cooler temperatures and chances of precipitation increasing into next week, local land management agencies will lift Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in the Payette West, Payette East, and Long Valley/Meadows Valley Zones of the Payette Fire Restriction Area beginning Friday, September 15, 2017. The Fire Restrictions are rescinded by agencies managing state, private and public lands in the area, including the United States Forest Service (USFS), Southern Idaho Timber Protective Association (SITPA), and the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL).  Restrictions were terminated in the Weiser River Zone of the Payette Fire Restriction Area on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.
The Little Salmon Zone of the Payette Fire Restriction Area remains in Stage 1 fire restrictions until further notice. See map below for location.
The restrictions were put into effect on August 11 when fire danger and burning conditions were unusually high. Recent storms have brought some moisture with much cooler temperatures to the area, and with the days getting shorter fire conditions have moderated. Forest visitors are reminded that vegetation is still dry and to be careful with all use of fire in the outdoors.  The accidental start of a wildfire can still be devastating.  Be alert and be aware.  Follow these tips to help prevent wildfire:
  • NEVER leave a camp fire unattended
  • Keep water, dirt and a shovel near your fire at all times
  • Make sure your fire is dead out and cold to the touch before you leave it
  • Use of fireworks, exploding targets or tracer rounds is prohibited on public lands
Area closures due to active wildfires are still in effect on some public lands, including the area affected by the Highline Fire on the Payette National Forest.  Contact the land management agency for your area of interest for specific information regarding fire closures.

Fire restrictions may be lifted but burn bans may still be in place in some areas. Fire restrictions and burn bans address different types of activities. Burn bans pertain to controlled burning activities such as debris burning, slash burning, or agricultural burning, for which a fire safety burn permit from IDL is required. Visit http://burnpermits.idaho.gov/ for more information.

Fire managers to lift Stage 1 Fire Restrictions for Sawtooth North Zone



                  SHOSHONE, Idaho- This week fire managers decided to lift fire restrictions for the Sawtooth North Zone effective Sept. 17 at midnight. This area includes federal, state and private forest, rangelands, roads and trails situated in Blaine, Camas, Custer, and Elmore counties. These areas are located within the Sawtooth North zone and are described below:
Sawtooth North Zone
All Sawtooth National Forest, Twin Falls District BLM, and Idaho State and private lands north of Highway 20 to the northern most Sawtooth National Forest boundary.  From Hill City east to the Craters of the Moon National Park Visitor Center.
While the need for open burning restrictions has decreased in some areas, fire managers would like to remind the public that the accidental start of a wildfire can still be devastating.  Be alert and be aware.  Follow these tips to help prevent wildfire:
o   NEVER leave a camp fire unattended
o   Keep water, dirt and a shovel near your fire at all times
o   Make sure your fire is dead out and cold to the touch before you leave it
o   Never use fireworks, exploding targets or tracer rounds on or near public land.

Do your part to keep the Magic Valley safe from wildfire. One Less Spark means One Less Wildfire.
If you are planning a visit to public lands in these areas, please check with the Sawtooth Ranger District offices https://www.fs.usda.gov/sawtooth, the Twin Falls District BLM www.blm.gov/idaho or theIdaho Department of Lands for the latest information or visit www.idahofireinfo.com or Idaho Fire Info on Facebook.   

Monday, September 11, 2017

Highline Fire Update for September 11th


Location: The Highline Fire and Goat Fire are both burning on the Payette National Forest, Krassel Ranger District, entirely within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness (https://tinyurl.com/y8qomgpm), approximately 23 miles east/northeast of Warren, Idaho.
Date of Origin: July 28, 2017 @ approx. 7:00 p.m.
Cause: Started by lightning
Current Size: Highline Fire: 83,630 acres / Goat Fire: 818 Acres
Current SituationOverall the Highline and Goat fire behavior remained low to moderate yesterday. On the eastern perimeter, the Highline fire continues to back and flank towards Root Ranch and Arctic Point Lookout. Forward progression along the east flank continues to be approx. quarter to half mile per day. Fire along the northern tip of the incident continues to creep into the upper reaches of the Salmon River breaks with spread distances up to quarter mile. On the western flank, the fire continues to back to the west towards Sheepeater Lookout. The southwestern portion of the fire continues to show the most heat and movement. Fire in this location is burning actively through mature timber with a significant amount of dead and down below the tree canopy. The Goat Fire continues to back at a very slow rate towards Phantom Creek and the Salmon River. Warming and drying conditions over the next few days may increase fire behavior into the middle of the week. On Wednesday another weather system may enter the area bringing decreasing temperatures, increased moisture and a chance for showers and thunderstorms which will again moderate fire movement. Firefighters are currently positioned at Big Creek to monitor the fire’s movement to the southwest. The fire was also active last night southwest of Root Ranch and has spotted within a quarter mile from the ranch. A crew remains vigilant at Root Ranch monitoring the fire and ready to take action if needed. Resources assigned to the fire include one type 2 initial attack crew, one local hand crew, one light helicopter and multiple fireline leadership and support positions. A total of 77 personnel are assigned.
Fire Management StrategyThe Payette National Forest has selected a monitor/point protection fire management strategy as the fire is burning within the Wilderness and was started naturally by lightning. This management approach allows fire to play its natural role in the Wilderness to achieve ecological benefits for enhancement of forest health and wildlife habitat, while protecting Values at Risk. Suppression actions will be taken as needed to protect Values at Risk.
Closures and Restrictions: A Forest Area Closure is in effect for public and firefighter safety. The Chamberlain, Cold Meadows, Soldier Bar and Cabin Creek Airstrips are closed due to fire activity. Please visit the following link for the Highline Fire Area Closure Order: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/payette/alerts-notices. The Payette National Forest is also under STAGE 1 FIRE RESTRICTIONSClick this link for designated sites where campfires are allowed. If a site is not signed as being a designated site, then campfires are not allowed at that site. There are no fire restrictions in the Frank Church River or No Return Wilderness. For more information visit: http://www.idahofireinfo.com/p/wilderness-fire-restrictions.html.
For More Information: Follow the Payette National Forest on Twitter at @Payette Forest, and on Facebook at U.S. Forest Service – Payette National Forest. Subscribe to email updates via GovDelivery at https://goo.gl/R2fDJr. If you have a question, please email us at payettefireinformation@gmail.com. Visithttps://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5500/ for more information on the Highline and other fires throughout the nation and www.idahofireinfo.com for information on fires throughout the state of Idaho.
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Monday, September 11, 2017, 10:00am

Air Quality Advisory Lifted on the Nez Perce Reservation

Air quality has improved throughout the Nez Perce Reservation. The Air Quality Advisory is lifted.

Affected Areas: All areas on the Nez Perce Reservation.

Air Quality Index (AQI) Category: All areas on the Nez Perce Reservation are currently in the “Good” category of the Air Quality Index.

Although air quality conditions have improved, depending on fire activity and wind, wildfire smoke may move in and out of communities during the day and overnight. Some areas may be more impacted than others, so please take appropriate precautions. For AQI health-related information, visit www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=pubs.aqguidepart.

Sensitive groups include:
  • Infants, children, pregnant women, elders
  • People who have high exposure (those who work, exercise, or spend extensive time outdoors)
  • People with existing health conditions or chronic diseases like asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, heart disease, COPD or diabetes
Restrictions: No restrictions.

Idaho Smoke Information Blog:  idsmoke.blogspot.com
Idaho Fire Information Blog:  idahofireinfo.com
Idaho Department of Health and WelfareWildfire Smoke and Your Health
Idaho Smoke Information Hotline:  1-800-345-1007

Nez Perce Tribe ERWM Air Quality Program
208-843-9381 | 1-800-720-4089

Strychnine "FINAL" Fire Update for September 11th




Bearskin Fire Update –Monday, September 11, 2017



Bearskin Fire Information: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5536/
Boise National Forest Fire Information: 208-373-4105

Acres: 28,130 Acres Containment: 0 percent   Personnel: 115

Resources assigned: 3 crews, 2 helicopter, 8 engines, 3 water tenders, 1 NIMO Team
  
BOISE, Idaho – Fire activity on the east side of the Bearskin Fire remains quiet. There was some spotting to the south about a quarter mile outside the main perimeter and there has been some additional growth on the north end away from Deadwood Lodge and toward the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Smoke was seen from the interior of the fire to the north and will likely continue to be visible until a weather event like rain or snow ends the season.
Crews continue to make progress chipping and have completed prep work to the intersection of Forest roads 579 and 555. Chipping continues to the south down Forest road 555 and has reached the second bridge, while engines and heavy equipment moved east along Forest road 579 removing snags. Crews are now working on a third defensive firing operation near Ross Creek, to remove fuels ahead of the fire.
Plans for Monday include continuing the chipping, prep work, snag removal and patrolling. Several Management Action Points or MAPs have been established. MAPs are clearly specified conditions that could prompt the team to modify their existing fire management actions, or trigger the implementation of new strategies and/or tactics. “Incident conditions” can refer to fire activity, smoke, weather, fuels, calendar dates, resource availability or a combination of any of these elements.  
MAPs have been established for the following: if the fire spreads into fire scars in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness; if the fire reaches Elk Creek; if the fire gets established in the 2016 Pioneer Fire or 2007 Sheep Trail Fire scars; if the fire spreads across the 510 road system; or if the fire spreads west of the 555 road. MAPs do not imply any specific action will be taken; they merely mark a point at which a different management decision will be considered.
Warm and dry conditions are expected Monday with light winds. Moisture is forecast to increase Tuesday bringing wetting rains. A cold front moves through the area Thursday evening. 
The Bearskin Fire area closure remains in place for public safety and includes the Deadwood Reservoir area and all the campgrounds and trails in the vicinity. The NFS road 582 through Bear Valley remains open except between the junctions of NFS roads 545 and 515 which is closed for construction. Work is expected to last into October.

All Forest Closure Orders and maps are available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-noticeserts/boise/alerts-notices

Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect on public and private lands under fire protection of the Boise National Forest, Boise BLM and State of Idaho. For specific information visit: http://www.idahofireinfo.com/p/fire-restrictions.html

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Bearskin Fire Update –Sunday, September 10, 2017


Bearskin Fire Information: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5536/
Boise National Forest Fire Information: 208-373-4105

Acres: 27,400 Acres Containment: 0 percent   Personnel: 129

Resources assigned: 4 crews, 1 helicopter, 9 engines, 2 water tenders, 1 NIMO Team
  
BOISE, Idaho, September 10, 2017 – Crews continue chipping and cutting dead trees from the Deadwood Lodge south along NFS 579 and 555. In some locations the western edge of the fire is approximately one and a half miles from the roads. The long range strategy is to clear debris along the 579 and 555 corridor to deny fuel to the fire, creating defensive positions.

Crews began defensive firing late Friday evening starting between the Deadwood Lodge and Deadwood Outfitters. Defensive firing tactics create a fire in the opposite direction toward an approaching fire, clearing fuels ahead of its path. Crews brought the defensive fire line back down to the Reeves drainage and stayed with it overnight to monitor its behavior.

Sunday’s plan is to improve the contingency line from the NFS 579 and along NFS 555 south toward the reservoir while crews are evaluating and looking for more opportunities to engage in firing operations. Resource Advisory surveys are also starting to take place in the southwest area ahead of the fire. Resource Specialists survey areas to identify possible historic sites that might be threatened by an approaching fire. Locating these sites assist fire managers develop containment and suppression plans to protect these resources.

The fire area will be warm and dry through Monday. Surface winds will be from the east Sunday morning and shifting to the west in the afternoon. Wind gusts to 20 mph are possible Sunday afternoon.

The Bearskin Fire area closure remains in place for public safety and includes the Deadwood Reservoir area and all the campgrounds and trails in the vicinity. The NFS road 582 through Bear Valley remains open except between the junctions of NFS roads 545 and 515 which is closed for construction. Work is expected to last into October.

All Forest Closure Orders and maps are available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-noticeserts/boise/alerts-notices

Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect on public and private lands under fire protection of the Boise National Forest, Boise BLM and State of Idaho. Campfires are only permitted in developed recreation sites with an agency approved metal fire ring. Smoking is allowed in a cleared area of at least 3 feet in diameter, in a vehicle or in a developed recreation site. For specific information visit: http://www.idahofireinfo.com/p/fire-restrictions.html