21-08-11 Cutter's Fire Hailey 8 Roland.jpg (copy)

A BLM helicopter helps crews contain the Red Devil Fire a mile northeast of Hailey on Friday, Aug. 6. 

The Bureau of Land Management Twin Falls District is lifting Stage One fire restrictions in the region on Wednesday, Sept. 1, including those for Blaine County. This will allow for campfires at dispersed sites on federal and state lands in south central Idaho.

The Forest Service will announce separate restrictions changes for the Sawtooth National Forest.

Since July 16, the BLM, Bureau of Reclamation and Idaho Department of Lands have restricted campfires to “designated” camp sites, only allowing burns within iron fire rings. The lifting of the restrictions means the public is free to build a campfire, use a charcoal barbecue, or smoke outside of designated campgrounds and recreation sites.

Twin Falls Bureau of Land Management Fire Information Officer Ryan Berlin said the restrictions have been lifted for several reasons.

“Luckily, the BLM has not had too many fires this year, in part because we did not have too much vegetation growth, and this was because we didn’t get as much spring rains,” Berlin said. “Also, citizens have been extra vigilant about not starting fires.”

Berlin said increased moisture recently on the southeast Idaho rangelands was another factor in the decision to lift the restrictions.

The fire restrictions will be lifted for federal lands managed by BLM, state and private forest and rangelands, roads, and trails situated in Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Custer, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Owyhee, and Twin Falls counties.

Blaine County’s own separate fire restrictions, which went into effect in June, will remain in place, said Blaine County Commissioner Angenie McCleary.

On Tuesday, the National Weather Service placed most of Blaine County under a Red Flag Warning, indicating elevated wildfire risk. That warning is set to expire at 9 p.m. Tuesday night. 

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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