(Idaho Department of Lands Press Release, August 16, 2023)

Coeur d’Alene – Since much of Idaho now faces Extreme or Very High fire danger, Idaho Department of Lands fire managers ask anyone who burned large piles of materials this spring or last fall to confirm their piles are out cold.

“Recent high temperatures have rekindled material burned months ago that has been smoldering deep within burn piles,” said IDL’s Mica Forest Protective District Warden Terry Zufelt.  “Given current conditions, when the piles reignite, they are a serious wildfire risk.”

According to Zufelt, devastating wildfires sparked by old burn piles occur far too often. “The Hunter 2 Fire near Blanchard in 2020 started when an old burn pile roared back to life, scorching more than 700 acres.” There have been smaller wildfires ignited by old burn piles this year.

“All human caused fires are preventable,” Zufelt added.

It is extremely important to be sure your pile is out: Go back and check the piles for heat. The pile must be cold to the touch. Large piles of unburned material may need to be moved around to ensure the fire is completely out.

Burn Permits: Due to Extreme and Very High fire danger, the state is not currently issuing burn permits for anything other than agricultural burning. Burn permits are required May 10 – October 20 each year.

About IDL Fire: Idaho Department of Lands Fire Management (IDL Fire) in partnership with two Timber Protection Associations and with the support of rural volunteer fire departments and other partners, are responsible for fire suppression and prevention on more than 9 million acres of state, private and federal forests and rangelands in Idaho. IDL Fire focuses on initial attack with the goal of keeping fires at 10 acres or less. IDL Fire protects and preserves important endowment timber assets that help fund Idaho schools and other beneficiaries, as well as millions of acres of private forestland.

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