The Bureau of Land Management and a slew of other agencies are restricting campfires and smoking in South Central Idaho. Stage One Fire Restrictions start Monday.
The restrictions on state and federal land, run south of Highway 20 to the Utah and Nevada border. Kyli Gough is the Fire Information Officer for the Twin Falls District BLM. “There’s actually quite a few counties, all of Twin Falls, all of Lincoln, Cassia, Minidoka, Jerome and Gooding counties, they’re all included and there’s parts of Blaine and Camas and parts of Oneida and Power county.” See a map here.
Stage One means campfires are only allowed at designated recreation sites. Violators can be fined. Smoking, too, is restricted, according to Gough. “Smoking is only allowed in a vehicle or building that is enclosed or on a developed recreation site and then if you do stop and pull over, you need to have at least a three foot diameter around you of barren or cleared area so there’s no flammable material there.”
Gough says moving to Stage One status doesn’t happen every year. “The last time that we’ve been in Stage One restrictions was in 2007 and if you know anything about 2007, it was the year we had the Murphy Complex Fire and some other very large fires," says Gough. "So it’s not something we just want to go into, I mean we don’t want to restrict the public from any of these things but we consider a lot of factors and at this time feel it’s necessary.”
Gough says the goal is to reduce the risk of human caused fires like the Charlotte Fire, which burned 66 homes last week in Pocatello.
The restrictions start Monday and will stay in effect until further notice.
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