Cooler weather and precipitation, including snowstorms in the Central Idaho mountains, have slowed fire activity and allowed some fire restrictions to be lifted, Idaho Fish & Game reports, and more could be lifted by the weekend. Some fire closures remain, however, so hunters are being advised to check on restrictions before heading out.
Some of the most significant reductions in area closures are in North Idaho, in the Panhandle National Forests’ Coeur d’Alene River and St. Joe Ranger Districts. “The weather has finally brought some rain and cooler temperatures, which means fires are less likely to spread aggressively,” said Mary Farnsworth, forest supervisor. “Under these conditions fires are more manageable and we are able to reduce the size of emergency closure areas while still providing an adequate buffer for public safety.”
The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest has also lifted some area closures in the Red River area. A closure associated with the Red River Complex south and east of Red River has been reduced to a smaller closure south and east of Red River, roughly bounded by the Magruder Road 468 on the north and the Salmon River on the south. Areas north and east of Riggins and south of Grangeville remain closed due to the Teepee Springs Fire, as well as several key roads into the area.
Though hunters will have access to most areas, those who bought elk tags in five zones affected by fire restrictions have until Sept. 11 to decide if they want to keep their tags, exchange them for a different elk tag, or turn in their tags for a receipt they can redeem for another tag later this year. There’s more info here, and Fish & Game has a link to fire restrictions that could affect hunters online here.