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Area fire danger remains 'very high'

by MONTE TURNER
Mineral Independent | August 30, 2023 12:00 AM

With the recent rains and cooler temperatures, a few folks have tossed common sense to the wind by conducting open burning.

Brush piles mostly, but a report of a barrow pit burn was called in last week.

Yes, the rain has helped suppress the forest fires with the River Roard East Fire near Paradise being the largest in the immediate area. Fire danger is rated very high, not extreme, but tinder dry is how conditions should be treated.

Hoot Owl fishing restrictions have been lifted and daytime highs are currently dropping, but open burning is still extremely dangerous without even mentioning the illegality of doing so.

One report came from an anonymous east bound traveler on I-90.

“I came around the corner from west of Alberton and saw a very large pillar of smoke. It looked as though it came from a house fire until I got beside the house and could see the fire on the ground and a person there. The smoke was not wood smoke color. It was just lightly sprinkling at the time and I called it in, knowing open burning of debris is not allowed and our fire danger was still high.”

Campfires in safe areas are allowed and responsible campers everywhere should heed to the regulations required on USFS property.

Campfires must be inside fire rings provided by the Forest Service. Dead and down material may be used. Living trees, shrubs and plants may not be cut or damaged. Remove all flammable material from around the campfire to prevent its escape. Fires may be prohibited during burn ban conditions. Obey any special restrictions that have been issued or posted.

“On the Superior Ranger District fire season can often run into late September,” said Abby Lane, Superior District Ranger. “The rain we’ve received provided some much-needed moisture, however wildfires are still a threat and human fire starts are still possible. Please remain mindful of campfires and ensure they are dead out (cold to the touch). Open burning may begin on October 1st. Please check the Mineral County burn permit website for updates on open burning.”

Suspicious smoke should be reported immediately by notifying 911 directly.