past few weeks, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Idaho has responded to
nearly 75 human-caused fires. When people are careless, they risk the
lives of the public and firefighters and destroy people’s homes, as well as our
10, BLM Idaho State Director Steve Ellis issued a Fire Prevention Order making
it a misdemeanor to carry, discharge or otherwise use fireworks on BLM-managed
lands. Violations of the Order may bring fines and jail time, and
violators who start wildfires can also be liable for the costs of damage and
summer, a human-caused fire in Pocatello burned 66 primary residences in a
matter of hours. Another human-caused fire south of Boise burned over
public often hears BLM asking them to use caution every summer, but we cannot
be complacent,” said BLM Fire Prevention Specialist Kevin Knauth. “Human-caused
fires have created a significant amount of damage so far this year, and we
still have a few months left of Idaho’s fire season.”In an
effort to reduce the risk of new human-caused fires, Idaho BLM is coordinating
with federal and state partners to consider Fire Restrictions throughout much
of southern Idaho. These restrictions will apply to BLM lands and involve
limiting campfires to designated metal fire rings in pre-established recreation
sites. Other fire restrictions by state and/or federal agencies may be in
place; it is recommended you check agency websites before camping on any public
lands. As always, never leave a campfire unattended and make sure it is
dead out before you leave.
Idaho, humans are responsible for 60 percent of all wildfires. The cost of
putting out a large wildfire can reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars
and can bring criminal charges in some cases. By taking a few simple
precautions, you can avoid starting a wildfire.
fires are extremely common this time of year, and three-quarters of these fires
result from mechanical or electrical failures, including malfunctions. Be
particularly cautious any time you pull a trailer; ensure your tires are
inflated to the proper level; and check the grease on your wheel bearings to
avoid a blown tire. A safety chain dragging too low will bounce off the
road surface and produce sparks. These sparks will be difficult to see as
you drive, which means you may start any number of fires as you drive several
miles without ever knowing what destruction you leave behind.
driving your vehicle off the road surface and into tall grasses. Catalytic
converters and exhaust systems heat up to very high temperatures, easily
igniting dry grasses and shrubs. Ensure that your vehicle receives routine
maintenance, as this can help you avoid most of the problems that might start a
fire. Periodically conduct a thorough check on your own as well. Be
sure to carry extra water or a fire extinguisher with you when recreating
outdoors. Practice responsible use of OHVs and ATVs.
especially careful with all outdoor equipment use. This includes chain
saws, welding equipment and portable generators. Use spark arrestors, and
keep water handy in case you do start a fire.
important to prepare your home by clearing debris and removing dead plant
material. Avoid stacking firewood directly against buildings. Plant
fire-resistant flowers, trees and shrubs around your property. Visit
www.idahofirewise.org for more tips on how to protect your home from wildfire
damage and also for a list of fire-resistant plant species.
before you go outdoors this summer. Act to protect your home and property
from wildfires. Prevent wildfires from starting on your public lands!
Bureau of Land Management