Fairfield Fire

Earlier today, the Forest Service reported two new fires north of Fairfield—the Phillips Fire in the Free Gold Creek drainage, estimated at 150 acres, and the smaller 0.1-acre Sawmill Fire north of Wells Summit. The Phillips Fire is currently burning through brush and timber on private land and the Sawmill Fire, already contained, has burned lodgepole pines on Forest Service land.

“While the Sawtooth National Forest looks green, fire danger is a concern,” the Forest Service stated in a Thursday press release. To track active fires in Idaho, visit www.idahofireinfo.com.

Amid a period of high wildfire activity, the U.S. Forest Service is inviting the public to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 76th birthday on Saturday, Aug. 8 from noon to 7 p.m. at Redfish Lake Visitor Center and Gallery. The event will offer the Forest Service another opportunity to reiterate its message of dedicated fire safety.

The event will include games, live music, storytime, a scavenger hunt and prizes for kids.

With the slogan “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires,” Smokey Bear has warned hikers and campers for decades about the dangers of unattended campfires. German-born illustrator Albert Staehle first drew the Forest Service icon in 1944 in a casual style, wearing jeans and pouring a bucket of water on a campfire.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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