Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 36° Partly Cloudy

Outdoors blog

Latest poop on wildfire: cyclist burning TP started blaze

2015 is a busy year for wildfire crews. (Associated Press)
2015 is a busy year for wildfire crews. (Associated Press)

WILDFIRES -- A mountain biker who answered the call in the wild is responsible for starting the 73-acre Hull Fire that scorched more than 73 acres in the Boise foothills, according to U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials, who confirmed:

A man was cycling in the foothills when he stopped to defecate in a ravine. Afterwards, the man tried to get rid of the waste by lighting his toilet paper on fire. The man apparently tried to bury the burning waste to extinguish it, but an ember spread to nearby dry grass.

"I guess when you gotta go, you gotta go," BLM spokeswoman Carrie Bilbao told

"We've had this before, actually - it doesn't happen very often - but when people have to go, um, they will often burn their toilet paper just as kind of an environmental concern, to not litter, basically, but in these fuel types, it's not a good idea," she said.

In other words, burning TP in fire-prone areas stinks.

Bilbao said the man came forward and told the BLM he might be responsible for the blaze. The man's story matched "evidence" found at the scene, according to investigators.

Police have not yet decided whether to charge the man with a crime or hold him financially responsible for fire-fighting costs. He received a citation for starting a fire. The man's name has not been released.


Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

Follow Rich online:

Go to the full Outdoors page