Thursday, July 29, 2021

Campfires banned at state parks

Hagadone News Network | July 16, 2021 1:00 AM

Campfires and propane-fueled fueled fire rings have been banned at North Idaho state parks as more fire restrictions go into effect across the Gem State.

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation announced the ban Thursday.

“This is being implemented to help protect our resources and quality of life,” said Chelsea Chambers, public information specialist at IDPR.

Parks affected by the ban are:

• Farragut State Park

• Priest Lake State Park

• Round Lake State Park

• Heyburn State Park

• McCroskey State Park

• Dworshak State Park

• Hells Gate State Park

• Winchester State Park

Propane grills and cooking stoves are still permitted for now.

Meanwhile, shifting winds and wildfires are causing low air quality in some parts of North Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality cautioned residents in the greater Sandpoint and Pinehurst areas of unhealthy air this week.

Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects from low-quality air, according to DEQ. The general public is not likely to be affected.

Air quality is expected to stay in the moderate range throughout most of North Idaho, including Kootenai County, the Bonners Ferry area and the St. Maries area.

That means some pollutants may be a moderate health concern for people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.

Stage 1 fire restrictions go into effect today for the Boise and Payette fire restriction areas.

These restrictions apply to forests and rangeland from the Owyhees to the Little Salmon River.

Stage 2 fire restrictions remain in effect throughout the Mica Fire District, which includes all of Kootenai County.

The same restrictions will go into effect today within the Grangeville fire restriction area, which includes lands in Lewis, Nez Perce, Idaho, Clearwater and Latah counties.

Under these restrictions, open burning is closed, including campfires, stove fires and recreational fires.

However, the use of charcoal or propane barbecues on private land is permitted, as are fires fueled solely by LPG, so long as the area is cleared of flammable material.

Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is cleared of all flammable materials.

Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails is prohibited.

Officials say the entire state, except wilderness areas, is expected to have some level of fire restriction by today.

Restrictions will be adjusted based on fire, fuels and weather conditions.