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Forest officials concerned over finding illegal campfires, despite fire restrictions

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Posted at 11:04 AM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 13:04:51-04

Boise National Forest officials report seeing an increase in the number of violations of current Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. Fire prevention patrol units say they have discovered over a dozen illegal campfires built outside of designated campgrounds in the past few days.

The restrictions, put into effect August 1, were implemented to reduce the threat of person-caused fires in the current hot and dry forest conditions. Nearly 50 percent of wildland fires this year have been person-caused within the Boise National Forest, officials said.

"Our goal is to reduce the potential of a new fire start, especially while dealing with the current large Pioneer Fire," said Bob Shindelar, Boise National Forest Fire Management Officer. "New fires increase both firefighter risk and fire suppression costs, not to mention the social impacts of smoke."

The identified areas in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions include private and public lands protected by the Boise National Forest, Boise District BLM and State and Endowment Lands within:

--Ada, Canyon, Gem, Payette, Elmore, Boise, Valley and Washington Counties
--Within Valley County all Bureau of Reclamation Lands surrounding Cascade Reservoir
--Within Elmore and Boise Counties all Bureau of Reclamation Lands surrounding Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch Reservoirs

Campfires are allowed only within an agency designated campground in an agency provided structure, or on a private citizen’s own land and only within an owner-provided fire structure. 

A list of approved sites is available at Ranger District offices or on the Boise National Forest website.