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New regulations in place in the Sawtooth Recreation Area including stage one fire restrictions

Posted at 4:03 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 18:03:00-04

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area features 217,000 acres and is a popular place for people to visit during the summer.

Before the 4th of July, the Sawtooth National Forest implemented stage one fire restrictions after declaring a high fire warning.

Stage one fire restrictions mean that campfires are only allowed in designated recreation areas like campsites, grills are not allowed unless they are fueled by liquid petroleum and there is no smoking in restricted areas.

The other changes have to do with the Sawtooth National Recreation area seeing more and more visitors, the forest service has limited the number of consecutive camping days to ten in an effort to help more people enjoy the area.

Reservations for the popular campsites around Red Fish Lake are pretty much booked for the rest of the summer and the first come first serve campsites fill up quickly.

Visitors may want to consider a day trip to the Stanley area or at least have lodging secured before heading out.

Backpacking is another option, but hikers need to get a permit before heading out into the wilderness which can usually be found at the trailheads, but to be safe you can contact the ranger district where you are going.

There have also been several bear sightings this year in the Sawtooth NRA and before summer started the forest service implemented new protocols requiring campers to store food in enclosed vehicles or bear-proof containers.

Officials hope this will limit exposure between bears and humans because once a bear finds a food source or garbage near a campground the end result is normally euthanization.

The Stanley area not only gets a lot of visitors from the Treasure Valley but it's a popular destination with visitors from out of state so it's important to help them know the rules and regulations in order to keep the Sawtooth National Recreation Area a pristine place.

"We are going on vacation for a week," said Reed May who traveled from Chicago. "It’s beautiful, it is absolutely breathtaking."