Officials: forest users are violating closure restrictions near Trinity Ridge Fire
Personnel involved with the Trinity Ridge Fire in the Boise National Forest area of Elmore County say they are seeing a lot of people not complying with the recently-changed and reduced closure area. Officials say, if forest users continue to violate the restrictions, it could lead to a closure of the roads recently opened.
The new revised closure order issued last week allows for only through traffic on certain roads. Many people this past weekend did not comply with that stipulation for public access, Boise National Forest Service spokesman Dave Olson said in a news release.
Firewood cutters, hunters, ATV recreationists and families were observed out of their vehicles, or off the roads, at times very close to torching trees, Olson said.
Apart from through traffic on designated roads, any other activities of any kind are prohibited within the closure area. These activities include, but are not limited to, gathering of firewood, hiking, scouting, hunting, and fishing.
Large pockets of unburned vegetation remain within the fire perimeter, with hot areas scattered throughout which are capable of burning vigorously.
Forest official are concerned if people stop, get out of their vehicles, or go off the roads, the threat to public safety increases. The public is asked to limit traffic on designated open roads to that which is absolutely necessary, Olson stated,
Violations of the Closure Order are punishable by fines of up to $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for an organization, and/or imprisonment for up to six months.
Further information is available by contacting the Mountain Home Ranger District at 208-587-7961 or the Idaho City Ranger District at 392-6681. Fire information is posted at www.inciweb.org.
(photo courtesy inciweb.org/Mike Theisen)