No campfires or open burning will be allowed on PotlatchDeltic property until further notice.
The fire ban went into effect July 25, due to increasing fire danger in the north Idaho region and will remain in effect until conditions improve according to a PotlatchDeltic press release.
“We typically issue a fire ban about this time of year when we start to see dryer conditions,” PotlatchDeltic Public Affairs Vice President Anna Torma said.
Current conditions are favorable according to Ms. Torma. However, drier conditions are anticipated.
“Wildfire conditions are generally favorable for this time of year,” Ms. Torma said. “August and September are traditionally more fire prone.”
Ms. Torma did not provide an exact number of fires, but she said that several small fires have ignited on PotlatchDeltic land this year. The largest fire was approximately 25 acres. All were human caused according to Ms. Torma.
Fire Warden Corey Flesher, Idaho Department of Lands St. Maries office, said that conditions are what they expect for this time of year.
“We are right about normal or average for this time of year,” Mr. Flesher said. “We just went into high fire danger last year and shut off burn permits, but campfires are still allowed.”
Eleven fires have occurred on IDL land so far this year. According to Mr. Flesher, 10 of the fires were human caused.
“Our number one cause [for fires] has been debris burning, which is pretty common,” he said.
The largest fire on IDL land this year was approximately 25 acres in the Mica Meadows area. That fire ignited July 21.
“We called that fire contained on [July 24],” Mr. Fisher said.
Approximately 100 acres of IDL land in the St. Maries district burns per year according to Mr. Fisher.
“Historically, we average about 25 fires and 100 acres total,” he said.
Mr. Fisher said that IDL St. Maries district has no plans to ban campfires at this time.
“We just went into high fire danger [last week] and shut off burn permits, but campfires are still allowed,” he said.
Mr. Fisher cautioned campers to have shovels and water buckets on hand.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, a national wildfire monitoring service, there are four active wildfires in the state of Idaho, as of July 29. The largest of which is approximately 2,500 acres. The smallest is 300 acres. Both are burning in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.
The National Interagency Fire Center provides data on wildfires over 100 acres. It does not include individual fires within complexes.
The Sheep Fire, at Idaho National Laboratory, was considered significantly contained as of July 25. That fire was ignited by lightning and burned more than 110,000 acres.
Nationally, there are 109 active large fires covering approximately 1,749,027 acres according to the NIFC. The majority of the fires are in Alaska where 72 fires covering approximately 1,650,027 acres are burning as of July 29.
According to a 10-year report, concluded 2017, by IDL, 86 percent of fires during that period occurred on federally owned acres. Federal ownership accounts for 63 percent of total acres owned in Idaho according to the report.
State ownership comprises 5 percent of total acres owned, and 4 percent of total acres burned form 2007-2017 according to the IDL report. Private ownership comprises 30 percent and Tribal ownership comprises 2 percent of land owned in the state, where 8 percent and 2 percent of the total acres burned, 200-2017, respectively.
There are 3,567 acres burning on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service land in Idaho, July 29.