Valley County Implements Stage I Fire Restrictions
August 26, 2020
At their regular meeting on Aug. 26, the Valley County Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the recommendation from Valley County co-Fire Wardens Bob Hanson and Rob Brunelle to move the county to State I Fire Restrictions. The restrictions will go into effect at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 28.
The region remains at high risk of fire due to dry conditions and weather concerns during harvest. Multiple fires have broken out across the county already this season including the Hill fire, caused by a lightning strike, which has burned over 3,000 acres. Stage I fire restrictions have been implemented to help land management agencies reduce fire risk and prevent wildfires during periods of high to extreme danger.
Valley County has spent several days in a Red Flag Warning status with high winds and low humidity increasing the odds of fire. New fires can spread rapidly under these conditions.
The full prohibitions are in effect until repealed by the county and are as follows:
1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire. 36CFR 261.52 (a) This includes charcoal barbecues and grills EXCEPT: Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites and the use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel or a fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a 1/4" spark arrester type screen is permitted.
2. Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material. 36 CFR 261 (b).
3. Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher kept with the operator, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use. 36 CFR 261.52 (h).
4. Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher. 36 CFR (i).
5. Using an explosive. 36 CFR 261.52 (b) EXEMPTIONS 1. Persons with a valid Forest Service permit or contract specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission may be eligible for an exemption from Prohibitions #1, #3, #4 and #5. Any exemption must be applied for in writing, include an appropriate mitigation plan and must be authorized in writing by the appropriate Forest Service official. The authorization must be in the physical possession of the person or persons undertaking the exempted activities. 2. Any federal, state or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty is exempt from Prohibitions #1, #3, #4 and #5.