GRANGEVILLE - At 12:01am on Friday, July 16, Stage II fire restrictions were implemented on Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest Lands within the Grangeville Fire Restrictions Area. One week later, those restrictions remain in place. With no forecasted relief in sight for our current fire conditions, fire managers are urging the public to be aware of the potential for new and emerging incidents that any thunderstorms accompanied by lightning could produce. Extra precaution is needed when recreating outside of traditional communications. Emergency resource agencies are focusing their efforts on keeping the public safe. However, due to the growing number and intensity of the wildfires, there are few resources available to alert individuals of an impending incident in the backcountry or away from populated areas.
“We will be moving directly into Stage 2 Fire Restrictions this season,” said Jim Wimer, Public Affairs Specialist for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests within the Grangeville Fire Restrictions Area. “We decided not to implement Stage 1 restrictions immediately because we meet the conditions now for Stage 2 restrictions; we reached that threshold very quickly after the last heat wave.
“Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are stricter than Stage 1, so we wanted to make sure everyone, including those working in industries that operate machinery and equipment within this restriction area, have ample time to prepare for these restrictions,” explained Wimer. “This is why the decision was made to implement these Stage 2 restrictions on Friday, July 16 and not sooner.”
Stage 2 Fire Restrictions
Under the Stage 2 Fire Restrictions, the following acts are prohibited on state and federally managed or protected lands, roads, and trails:
Fires or Charcoal
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire
- EXCEPTIONS: Persons using a fire or stove fire fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPD fuels. Such devices, including propane campfires, may be used only in an area clear of flammable material.
- Prohibits smoking outside an enclosed vehicle or building.
- EXCEPTIONS - You can smoke while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
Cross Country Travel
- Prohibits operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails
Prohibits the following acts from 1:00pm to 1:00am:
- Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine
- Other activities that generate flame or flammable material or using an explosive
“We greatly appreciate the continued efforts of everyone in our local communities and everyone visiting our local public lands who are taking precautions to prevent human–caused wildfires,” said Wimer.
Exemptions For Stage II Fire Restrictions
- Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
- Persons using a fire or stove fire fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels. Such devises, including propane campfires, may be used only in an area cleared of flammable material.
- Persons using stove fires with a chimney of at least five (5) feet in length and employing a spark arrester with a maximum mesh screen opening of ¼ inch on federal lands designated as the Frank Church River of No Return, Gospel Hump, or Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Areas.
- Persons using metal fire pans* (see definition) within ¼ mile of:
- The Salmon River from the Corn Creek launch site to Vinegar Creek.
- The Middle Fork of the Salmon River.
- The Selway River from the Paradise boat launch to Race Creek.
- The Snake River from Hells Canyon Dam to the City of Lewiston.
- The Salmon River from Vinegar Creek to its mouth at the Snake River below the mean high water mark.
*A metal fire pan with sides at least three inches high with a metal grate on top. Pack-out of ashes is required.
- Persons using a generator with an approved spark arrester on areas that are cleared of all flammable materials within three feet of the generator.
- Log loading and hauling only from landings and existing roads.
- Private landowners using charcoal (disposed of properly) or propane barbecues on their own lands.
- Crop lands.
- Emergency repair of public utilities and railroads as per attached conditions in Stage II Exemptions for Public Utilities and Railroads, Appendix 10.
- Any federal, state, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force, in the performance of an official duty.
- Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.
- All land within a city boundary.
Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests fire information is available online at https://bit.ly/NPCFireInfo