CAMPING – Hunters heading into the mountains this week still face restrictions on campfires and even generators as tinder-dry conditions persist through the region.
All state and federal lands in the regions have campfire restrictions, although they vary in degree.
Starting today, the Umatilla National Forest will begin allowing campfires once again but only in designated pits in designated recreation sites.
“Restrictions pertaining to the use of chainsaws, internal combustion engines, generators and smoking remain in effect,” Forest Service officials said Wednesday in a media release.
A list of designated recreation sites is available on each forest’s websites. Liquefied or bottled gas stoves and heaters are allowed for cooking and heating.
Operating an internal combustion engine, such as a chainsaw, is prohibited. This restriction applies to all internal combustion engines except motor vehicles. Firewood cutting is not allowed, unless the operator has a valid personal use firewood permit.
Until further notice, the forest’s rules for using generators are strict:
“Generators will be allowed only in the center of an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is cleared of all flammable material, or; when fully contained within a pickup truck bed that is devoid of all flammable material, or; when factory installed in a recreational vehicle and the generator exhaust discharge is located in the center of an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is cleared of all flammable material.
Travel restrictions already prohibit motor vehicles traveling off of designated Forest roads and trails, except for the purposes of going to or from campsites located within 300 feet of an open road.
September big month for bicycling events
CYCLING – While SpokeFest treated 1,200 riders to a great day of cycling last weekend, September still holds a huge calendar of bicycle events throughout the region.
Among the 20-some listed events within an easy drive of Spokane are some of the most popular rides of the year, such Coeur d’Fondo out of Coeur d’Alene on Sept. 26.
Today is the deadline to enter this weekend’s RIM Ride, the Rotary In Motion Family Fun Ride based from Liberty Lake. It starts with 5-mile family ride on Saturday, then 15, 25, 50 or 100 miles rides on Sunday finishing with lunch and beer garden.
Kidical Massive, also on Saturday, is a free safety-oriented Spokane bike event starting at 1 p.m. for kids on a 3-mile, vehicle-free course starting and ending at Kendall Yards. No sign-up required.
NIC’s Brian Williams Poker Ride, Sept. 24, is an annual event to collect cards for prize-winning poker hands. The ride, which is in memory of an NIC student; starts 12:30 p.m. at the Slate Creek Brewing Co. in Coeur d’Alene Lake Dr. in Coeur d’Alene. Ride Live music, barbecue, silent auction, door prizes and a T-shirt. Sign up: (208) 676-7169. $25.
Check out the 2017 Northwest Bicycling Events Calendar, which includes convenient links to more information and registration, as well as access to racing and cycling groups in the region at