Potlatch Corp. will close its Idaho timberlands to public access effective Tuesday because of the extreme risk of wildfires.
The closure will remain in effect until further notice.
Authorized Potlatch employees and contractors can continue to access the land for timber harvest and other activities, but they have to follow state-imposed restrictions.
The restrictions prohibit campfires on state, federal, tribal and private forestlands in North Idaho and north-central Idaho. Smoking must be done inside an enclosed vehicle. Operating chain saws and similar equipment is prohibited from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., and wood-cutters must stay in the area for an hour to ensure that no fires develop.
Motorcyclist listed as critical
A motorcyclist was critically injured Friday afternoon after he lost control of his Harley-Davidson while trying to pass another vehicle in Stevens County, the Washington State Patrol reported.
Carl A. Schmidt, 55, of Shaw Island, Washington, was southbound on state Highway 25, 1 mile south of Gifford, when he attempted a pass in a no-passing zone and crashed about 1:30 p.m., the WSP said in a news release.
He was transported to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition Friday evening.
Schmidt was wearing a helmet.
Wolves kill two adult cows
Wolves killed two adult cows near Chewelah this week, state wildlife officials said.
The cattle were found dead Thursday and Friday in the upper portion of the North Fork of Chewelah Creek in the Dirty Shirt Pack territory, said Nate Pamplin, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife assistant director.
The producer runs 83 cow-calf pairs on the Colville National Forest allotment, Pamplin said.
“Staff will contact the producer on a daily basis to share the location of the collared wolf from the Dirty Shirt Pack,” Pamplin said.
Dead bat carried rabies
A dead bat found on the shores of Priest Lake has tested positive for rabies, according to a news release from Panhandle Health District.
The bat was found Tuesday by a woman picking up debris on the shoreline. She accidentally touched the bat with her bare hands and is receiving a post-exposure vaccine, according to officials.
On Saturday, a girl was bitten in Liberty Lake by a bat that tested positive for rabies. Last year, 11 bats tested positive for rabies in Idaho.
Rabies is a viral disease that’s preventable, if treated. However, it is fatal without treatment.
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