There are currently 8 large wildfires burning in Idaho. A flare up of wildfires happened over Labor Day weekend that firefighters crews have been working to control. Fires in Northern Idaho are forcing evacuations and burning down buildings. Meanwhile, the Washington County Sheriff also issued evacuations for residents yesterday after The Woodhead Fire has been burning over an estimated 20,000 acres. According to Martell Gibbons, Caribou-Targhee National Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer, “The majority of recent starts have been human-caused and could have easily been prevented.”

As a reminder, here are some things that cause wildfires:

  • Campfires - Be sure to safely light and extinguish your campfire. Do not use lighter fluid or any other chemical accelerates and fully extinguish your campfire before going to sleep or leaving your campsite. Also be careful what you burn and ensure you are in a campfire-safe location.
  • Vehicles - Improperly greased bearings, dragging trailer chains, failing catalytic converters, older exhaust systems that allow carbon build up, flat tires or a lack of regularly scheduled maintenance can all cause highway vehicle fires
  • Smoking - there are fire restrictions in Idaho that place limitations on smoking so be aware of those. Be sure to discard all smoking materials properly and make sure butts are completely out no matter where you are smoking. Also, never throw smoking materials from a car.
  • Fireworks - According to Idaho Fire Wise, fireworks cause more than 32,000 fires, destroy more than 3,000 structures and vehicles and lead to 10,000 emergency room visits.
  • Firearms - careless target shooting can cause fires. Never shoot tracer or incendiary ammunition and avoid shooting steel-core or bi-metal bullets during fire season.