BOISE, Idaho — Low humidity and scorching temperatures have put much of southern Idaho in a red flag warning.
Starting July 16, stage one fire restrictions will take effect across more parts of the Treasure Valley. The restrictions will remain in effect until October 1 unless rescinded earlier by the jurisdictional agencies depending on fire conditions.
Related: Gov. Brad Little declares emergency disaster declaration due to state wildfires
The restrictions will cover all of the Boise and Payette National Forests, Idaho state lands, Boise and Cottonwood Bureau of Land Management offices and some private lands.
"When the citizens of Idaho are out playing in the woods or working in the woods, please use extreme caution," said Josh Harvey, Fire Management Chief of the Idaho Department of Lands. "Think before you do, know where you're at. If you want to take care of our firefighters and take care of your neighbors, be extremely careful."
Crews with the Idaho Department of Lands have already responded to more than 200 fires across their ten districts. That's 221 percent of the all-time record.
Under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, the following are prohibited on the restricted state, private and federal lands:
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire except if:
- Using a stove or grill solely fueled by liquid petroleum fuels; or
- Within a designated area posted with Forest Service notices indicating that use of fire is not prohibited in that area and using either:
- A permanent metal or concrete structure installed and maintained by the Forest Service and specifically designed for containing a campfire or cooking fire; or
- A fully enclosed metal stove, grill, or sheepherder type stove with a chimney at least five feet in length and a spark arrester with a mesh screen and a screen opening of a 1/4 inch or less.
- Smoking, outside an enclosed vehicle or building, or designated recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
Related: Tracking the latest on Idaho's wildfires
The following are exemptions to the Stage 1 Fire Restrictions:
- Persons with a written special use authorization specifically exempting them from the effect of this order.
- Persons using a stove or grill that is fueled solely by liquid petroleum fuels. Such devices, including propane campfires, may be used only in an area cleared of flammable material.
- Persons using a stove fire (a fire built inside a fully enclosed metal stove, grill, or sheepherder type stove that is outfitted with a chimney that is at least five feet in length that are equipped with a spark arrester consisting of a mesh screen with a screen opening of 1/4 inch or less).
- Persons using metal fire pans (sides must be 3 inches high with a metal grate on top) within ¼ mile of the Main Salmon River. Pack-out of ashes is required.
- Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
- All land within a city boundary is exempt.
- With the volume of wildfires burning throughout central Idaho, fire managers ask the public to be extra cautious when spending time outdoors.
Gov. Brad Little announced an emergency disaster declaration because of wildfires burning in Idaho this week. The emergency order applies to all lands protected by the Idaho Department of Lands, which enables to Idaho National Guard to assist in fire suppression.