Campfires, smoking banned in state, federal forests

Statesman staffJuly 30, 2013 

The new prohibitions on fires and smoking are in all forest and range lands outside of designated campsites and picnic areas beginning Thursday.

Officials ordered the bans because of hot, dry conditions in Southwest and Central Idaho.

Fires burning in Idaho, Oregon, Nevada and Washington are contributing to the haze in the Treasure Valley. Here are updates on a couple of the biggest Idaho fires:

Fir Grove Fire: Officials mapped the fire north of Gooding at 7,143 acres Monday. Officials said they expect to contain the fire today. Sections of Idaho 46 from Gooding to U.S. 20 were closed for part of Monday, but reopened by 6 p.m. The lightning-caused fire was reported Sunday.

Lodgepole Fire: A lightning-sparked wildfire that started July 20 about 10 miles west of Challis was estimated at 9,694 acres Monday and was 15 percent contained. An emergency area closure was announced Monday night. Go to http://tinyurl.com/lp3otbn to see a closure map.

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