MARCH 11, 2010

Use caution when burning yard debris and using campfires

   Due to a number of fire starts in the past couple weeks, fire managers are asking the public to use caution when burning yard debris and brush piles or using campfires.

   It is currently open burning season in Idaho County, but we are experiencing extraordinarily dry, windy conditions. This is a reminder that you may be held liable for property damage caused by an escaped fire.

   As of Mar. 4, the National Resources Conservation Service data is showing the Clearwater Basin is at 60% of normal precipitation, and the Salmon River Basin is at 66% of normal precipitation.

   Even a small breeze can fan the flames of an unattended burn pile or campfire. Before you leave the area, drown your fire and stir to make sure the embers are COLD.

   Please keep these fire safety tips in mind:

Build small and contained campfires; never leave fire unattended; make sure it is DEAD OUT before leaving.

State law requires having a bucket and shovel handy when lighting a campfire.

All types of equipment and vehicles are required to have spark arresters. This includes; chainsaws, portable generators, cross country vehicles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and farm equipment.

   Closed fire season in Idaho County is between May 10 and Oct. 20 each year and a burn permit is required. A news release will be distributed prior to May 10 with additional information on obtaining burn permits.

   For more information, please contact Bob Lippincott, Acting Clear/Nez Fire Zone Staff, at (208) 983-4056.