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Cleaning Up Past Fires, Putting Out New Ones, Preparing for More

keeping the forests from flaming

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Boise anglers get a treat this summer: They can fish for Chinook salmon in the Boise River. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game released several hundred surplus salmon from the hatcheries into the Boise River at Barber Park, the Americana bridge and the Glenwood bridge on July 2.

"Whenever the last one gets caught, they'll be gone," said IDFG spokesperson Mike Keckler. He said most people who want to fish for salmon have to leave the Treasure Valley for places like Riggins.

"But this gives people an opportunity to catch these fish locally. It gives people the chance to go fishing before or after work," Keckler said.

Anglers need a valid Idaho fishing license and a salmon permit, and they can keep two Chinook per day, with a limit of six total.

Away from the river and closer to the Foothills, Boise Parks and Recreation is offering two free presentations at Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center this month on wildfire safety. The first class is July 9, 7-8:30 p.m., and gives adults tips on preparing for wildfires, like creating evacuation plans and emergency supply lists, and inventorying a household.

Saturday, July 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., families can drop in to learn about the history of fire in the Foothills, how fires have changed in recent years and how to prevent them. The interactive program lets participants try on fire gear, talk to a wildland firefighter and safely watch a mini-forest fire demonstration. No registration is required for either class.

In other fire news, the Blaine County Fire Department is currently monitoring the Colorado Gulch fire burning three miles west of Hailey. The fire ignited on the evening of July 6 and crews expect to gain control of the blaze by Thursday, July 10. As of press time, a few homes in the area had been evacuated and the fire had burned 750 acres of mostly grass and brush.

The Blaine County Fire Department said the fire has closed the Croy Creek Trailhead, including a nearby motocross track. Most of the trails in the area are already closed from last summer's Beaver Creek Fire.

But the Ketchum Ranger District opened a large portion of burned area from the Beaver Creek Fire for the Fourth of July weekend. The fire burned 110,000 acres and severely impacted recreation in the Wood River Valley (BW, Feature, "Surviving Fire Season," Oct. 23, 2013).