The Hells Roaring Fire, 12 miles south of Stanley, burned more than 325 acres and was determined to be human-caused. Because of it, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area is now under Stage 1 fire restrictions.
Lighting an unapproved fire or smoking in an unapproved area could land you fines up to $10,000 and/or six months in prison in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and the Owhyee Mountains, where the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management issued Stage 1 fire restrictions.
The order for Owhyee County
went into effect July 16 and the Sawtooths
went into effect on July 17, prohibiting igniting a fire outside of a designated Forest Service campground fire pit, and smoking outside of an enclosed vehicle or building. Stoves can only be fueled with liquid petroleum fuels. The restricted area covers hundreds of square miles from the Sawtooth Mountain range to Highway 75 to Galena Summit to Stanley.
The Forest Service stated in a news release that forest officials made the call based on an increase of human-caused fires in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. According to the Idaho Mountain Express
, two recent fires—the Hell Roaring Fire
and the Gold Fire—were both caused by humans.
"The area has significant dead and down lodgepole pine following the mountain pine beetle epidemic of the early 2000s," the news release
read. All fires must be put out until they are "cold to the touch" and smokers need to keep a careful eye on their cigarettes. Both restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.