Campfire Restrictions

Those heading out into the woods this Labor Day weekend should keep in mind Stage 1 fire restrictions in place throughout most of the area. Campfires are not allowed in the Sawtooth and Salmon-Challis National Forests outside of fire rings at developed campgrounds. 

Today's 269 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Idaho bring the state total to 33,196, according to the state Department of Health and Welfare. Though yesterday the state did not increase its coronavirus-related death toll, that number rose by 10 today to 382.

According to the state, Blaine County has not gained any new cases of COVID-19 since Monday. The total remains at 588 confirmed and 18 probable cases.

Elsewhere, the resort makes moves towards this winter's ski season, the federal government introduces a new eviction ban and local schools prepare to welcome back students. Here are those and other top stories from Friday, Sept. 4.

• The Sun Valley Resort has extended early-bird season pass pricing through to the end of the month. The move comes as the resort prepares to announce its COVID-19 precautions ahead of the winter season.

Sun Valley confirmed it will continue to take part in Vail Resort’s Epic Pass, and Vail just revealed its own coronavirus protocols for the upcoming ski season. It seems as though Sun Valley would not be bound by Vail’s plans through the Epic Pass, but may well confirm its own plans in the coming weeks.

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an eviction moratorium this week to help stop the spread of coronavirus by keeping renters from winding up in homeless shelters or other crowded living conditions. How precisely that will play out in Idaho is not entirely clear, but the Idaho Housing Preservation Program has another $11 million left to spend on rental assistance by Dec. 31, for those who need it.

• Plexiglass, spaced out desks, face masks, staggered in-class learning days: the school year will look considerably different from usual when it begins on Tuesday. Custodians and maintenance staff throughout the Blaine County School District have been hard at work preparing to welcome students and teachers back into the buildings before the first day on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

• U.S. Senate candidate Paulette Jordan will hold a town hall meeting in Ketchum Town Square tomorrow at 6 p.m. Members of the public are invited to hear the former Idaho state representative lay out her platform to challenge Sen. Jim Risch for his seat.

• Thirty-five gray wolves were transplanted into central Idaho’s wilderness in the mid-1990s. Since then, the wolves have inevitably clashed with livestock owners, with many calling for their culling. A local nonprofit group—the Wood River Wolf Project—has introduced nonlethal deterrent methods to great effect, promoting an agenda of peaceful coexistence between livestock producers and the wolves.

• Normally, Labor Day means the annual Wagon Days Festival in Ketchum. Of course, that’s not happening this year. In lieu of our normal Wagon Days Special Section, the Mountain Express took the opportunity to look back on the storied history of the Wood River Valley, highlighting all the various peaks and cols that Wagon Days celebrates.

For more local and regional news, pick up a copy of today's Idaho Mountain Express, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.

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