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State and federal officials signed an agreement Tuesday that will help protect Idaho’s national forest lands, which they said are at risk of insect infestations and destructive wildfires.
Federal officials are planning controlled burns on 9,000 acres (3642 hectares) on the east slope of the Cascade Range in Washington state in an effort to reduce the threat of wildfires.
As for fireworks, those have been banned in Spokane and most of the county since for more than 20 years, and for good reason. One spark, regardless of the source, can do a lot of damage in dry conditions. During the 1991 firestorm, the city had fires burning on three sides, and about 100 homes were lost.
The success of this program hinges on DNR conducting its due diligence and working with weather forecasters to avoid smoke drifting into cities.
The Forest Service is starting its annual controlled burn program this week on the Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District.
Steve Parker had two reactions to last summer’s wildfires in Central Washington: a deep empathy for the people who lost homes and businesses, followed by the thought, “What if that happened here?” It wasn’t hard for the Stevens County commissioner to imagine a catastrophic wildfire sweeping through northeast Washington.
Federal officials plan to set fires on up to 1,700 acres in North Idaho this fall as part of prescribed burning. The U.S. Forest Service has targeted 300 to 500 acres for burning near Coeur d’Alene Mountain, Thompson Lake, Avery Creek, Thompson Pass, and south and east of Hayden Lake. In addition, up to 1,100 acres could be burned in the upper reaches of the St. Joe River.