Boise National Forest

Boise National Forest

Word around the Northwest from some vendors is that there could be a shortage of real Christmas trees this year. That could lead to higher prices. But the National Forest Service says they have plenty of trees just waiting for families to take home while also making memories.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

The Pioneer Fire started a year ago this week in the backcountry just north of Idaho City. The blaze would rage on for months, darkening the sky with smoke and eventually charring almost 300 square miles. Although the fire is now a memory, a lingering danger remains: dead trees. Millions burned in the Pioneer Fire and more could catch with a single spark in the Boise Foothills.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Beth Lund starts her day long before most people are done dreaming.

At 5 a.m., she’s out of her tent – coffee in hand – getting ready for a 6:00 a.m. briefing with her team at fire camp in Idaho City. Over the hum of generators, Lund takes the microphone on a wooden platform and addresses about 50 firefighters.

“Well, good morning," Lund says. "I see the group out here’s dwindling a little bit. So I think that’s a sign that some of this stuff on the southern end is getting wrapped up.”

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Managers of the Boise National Forest say one small section of their jurisdiction is in crisis. But that small section is the Bogus Basin Resort, which means addressing this crisis is urgent and difficult.

Attempts by 900 firefighters backed by aircraft to halt the spread of a wildfire burning in rugged terrain in southwest Idaho have been unsuccessful with the blaze doubling to 14 square miles in size on Wednesday.

Officials say they've expanded a closure in the Boise National Forest and also started contingency plans to use State Highway 21 as a firebreak.

About 23 miles of the highway are closed from north of Idaho City to south of Lowman as firefighters remove trees and brush to reduce the potential for the fire to cross the road.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service this week gave American CuMo Mining Corporation the go-ahead to explore for molybdenum, copper and silver between Idaho City and Garden Valley. If CuMo finds enough of the metals, it will seek permission to build a large open pit mine.

Environmental groups have been challenging the project for years. They say the exploration process alone endangers the headwaters of the Boise River, let alone the proposed mine.

Boise National Forest

A dozen aircraft and more than 130 firefighters are working to contain three central Idaho wildfires sparked by lightning before they become so large they'll be impossible to put out until the end of the fire season.

Boise National Forest officials on Wednesday say a 20-acre fire about 3 miles from Idaho City is the most concerning because it's in heavy timber and about a mile from a phone tower.

Spokesman David Seesholtz says a 66-acre fire near Pilot Peak is less worrisome because it's moved to the top of a ridge.

Boise National Forest

The Boise National Forest is reporting an increase of trash and human waste being left behind at campsites.

All ranger districts are reporting more trash, but the Lowman Ranger District has been hit especially hard along Highway 21 and in the Deadwood Reservoir areas.

Fire pits have been loaded with trash. Fecal material has been found near the camps. Toilet paper has been left behind. That’s according to John Kidd, Lowman District Ranger.

Brian Stalter / Flickr Creative Commons

After the rain and warm weather southern Idaho has seen over the last few weeks, conditions are primed for wild morel mushroom hunting. The fungal plant is especially fruitful on burned forest land, which makes national forests a popular spot for morel picking.

Dave Olson is a spokesman with the Boise National Forest. He says the best time for morels is the first season after a wildfire, so 2014's relatively quiet wildfire season means this year isn't as good as in years past.

WCN 24/7 / Flickr

Tis the season when Idahoans will be getting their Christmas trees. For some, that means a trip to the Boise or Payette National Forest; a holiday tradition in some families.

Permits to cut down Christmas trees in Idaho forests went on sale this weekend.

Wildfire Near Cascade Grows To 75 Acres

Sep 19, 2014
Photo Courtesy Boise National Forest

This story was updated at 12:05 p.m. Sept. 22.

A small wildfire burning southeast of Cascade has grown to 75 acres. The Bull Fire is burning in a remote area on the Boise National Forest.

Forest officials say 115 firefighters are now working on the blaze.

No structures are threatened by the fire, but the forest has closed a handful of trails in the area.

It’s not clear what started the fire, its cause is under investigation.

This story was originally posted at 11:15 a.m. Sept. 19.

Flooding Closes Boise National Forest Road

Aug 6, 2014
map courtesy of the Boise National Forest

A road used by recreationists in the Boise National Forest is closed due to flooding.  A Boise National Forest spokesman says the Middle Fork Boise River road is closed above Arrowrock Reservoir.

Thanks to early morning flash flooding, 15 miles of road from the junction of Slide Gulch and the Middle Fork Boise River Road are closed.

Forest officials say they’re working with the Atlanta Highway District to repair the road, but it could be closed for several days.

7 Lightning-Caused Fires Spark On The Boise National Forest

Jul 31, 2014

Seven small lightning-caused wildfires are burning on the Boise National Forest after Wednesday night's storm. Forest officials say all the fires are small, at less than 5 acres each, and no structures are threatened.

Firefighters already have lines built around most of the new starts.

The largest fire is called the Crooked Fire, burning southeast of Kirkham.

Fire officials say more lightning-caused fires could be detected over the next few days.

Copyright 2014 Boise State Public Radio

wildfires
Photo Courtesy Boise National Forest

This post was updated at 11:15 a.m. July 25, 2014.

Fire officials say they've nearly contained all 27 of Wednesday's lightning-caused wildfires on the Boise National Forest and state lands north of Boise.

The Mack Fire is still the largest, now estimated at 270 acres. It's now 10 percent contained.

This post was updated at 10:25 a.m. July 24, 2014.

A Boise National Forest spokesman says 14 of 27 lightning-caused fires burning on federal and state lands north of Boise are now contained.

A conservation group and the Nez Perce Tribe have filed a lawsuit against three federal agencies seeking to stop a central Idaho gold mine exploration project by a Canadian company.

The tribe and the Idaho Conservation League filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Idaho against the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service.

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