Outdoors Blog

Homestead trail in Boise re-opens; fire restrictions put in place

The fire burned both sides of many of the Table Rock trails but skirted the Homestead trail to the east.
The fire burned both sides of many of the Table Rock trails but skirted the Homestead trail to the east. BLM Boise District

The Homestead trail in East Boise re-opened Friday.

The trail in the Boise River Wildlife Management Area had been closed since the land adjacent to the trail was charred by the Table Rock Fire in late June. The Cobb and West Highland Valley trails also are open in that area, as well as the piece of dirt road that connects the West Highland Valley trail to the Cobb and Lucky Peak trails.

Highland Valley Road is closed.

Off-trail use is prohibited in the burn area, which will need years of rehab to restore wildlife habitat.

Several WMA trails farther to the east remain closed because of the Mile Marker 14 fire. That includes most of Shaw Mountain Road, White Ranch Road, Wilhite Trail and Deer Creek Trail.

The Mile Marker 14 fire burned 4,300 acres of key wildlife habitat.

“This was a tremendous blow to wildlife, particularly wintering mule deer,” said Jerry Deal, regional habitat manager for Idaho Fish and Game. “The area last burned in 1957. It will be decades before we see full recovery.”

More than 200 people already have signed up to volunteer with recovery efforts, Fish and Game said. Sign up to help here.

Fire restrictions announced

From the U.S. Forest Service:

With the threat of wildfire danger increasing throughout southwest Idaho, local wildland fire management agencies will implement Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, effective Aug. 1, 2016, beginning at 12:01 a.m. They will remain in effect until further notice. These restrictions are intended to decrease the chance of any preventable fires in the designated areas.

The identified areas going into Stage 1 Fire Restrictions include private and public lands protected by the Boise National Forest, Boise District BLM and State and Endowment Lands within:

▪ Ada, Canyon, Gem, Payette, Elmore, Boise, Valley and Washington Counties

▪ Within Washington County all Bureau of Reclamation Lands surrounding Mann Creek Reservoir

▪ Within Valley County all Bureau of Reclamation Lands surrounding Cascade Reservoir

▪ Within Elmore and Boise Counties all Bureau of Reclamation Lands surrounding Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch Reservoirs

For a map of the Treasure Valley and West Central Mountain Zones visit here.

Under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, the following acts are prohibited on the restricted state and private forest and range lands, and federally managed lands, roads and trails:

▪ Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire except within an agency designated recreation site* and only within an agency provided structure, or on a private citizen’s own land and only within an owner-provided fire structure.

▪ Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, building or designated recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

*A “designated recreation site” is a recreation site that: 1) is included on the individual National Forest’s list of areas where campfires are permitted; and 2) which contains a Forest-provided fire ring. Campfires are not permitted at sites that do not have a Forest-provided ring. The list of approved sites is available at Ranger District offices or here.

Exemptions for Stage 1 Areas:

▪ Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.

▪ Persons using fire solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels. Such devices, including propane campfires, may be used only in an area cleared of flammable material.

▪ Private landowners using charcoal (disposed of properly) or propane barbecues on their own lands.

▪ Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.

▪ Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force, in the performance of an official duty.

▪ All land within a city boundary.

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