TWIN FALLS, Idaho(KLIX)-Campers and people recreating will find Stage 1 fire restrictions in effect at the beginning of August in specific parts of northern Utah boarding Idaho to prevent wildfires.

The Minidoka Ranger District of the Sawtooth National Forest is set to implement the fire restrictions on August 1, and will remain in effect until September 31, of this year to prevent the spread of wildfires in the Raft River Division just south of Malta, Idaho which includes the Clear Creek Campground. The Forest Service says the wildfire danger in northern Utah is getting worse.

The restrictions prevent the use of campfires, charcoal briquettes, outside fire structure, or designated fire pits provided by the Forest Service within the Raft River Division. People will not be allowed to smoke outside of an enclosed vehicle or a building as well. The penalty, according to the Forest Service, for not abiding my the order is a $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for a corporation and/or six months behind bars.

Sawtooth National Forest

These are the only exemptions to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, according to the Forest Service:

· Persons with a special use authorization or other Forest Service authorization specifically exempting them from the effect of this Order;

· Persons using a stove or grill that is solely fueled by liquid petroleum fuels;

· Persons using a stove fire built inside a fully enclosed metal stove, grill, or sheep herder type stove that is outfitted with a chimney that is at least five (5) feet in length that is equipped with a spark arrester consisting of a mesh screen with screen opening of 1/4 inch or less.;

· Persons smoking while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is clear of all flammable materials; and

· Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

An exemption does not absolve an individual or organization from liability or responsibility for any fire started by the exempted activity.

Raft River Range as viewed from Black Pine area, photo by Benito Baeza
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