The Idaho State Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued its annual Fire Prevention Order.
The Fire Prevention Order, signed by the state director, is effective from May 10 through Oct 20.
The order prohibits fireworks and special weapons ammunitions on BLM administered lands, according to the BLM website.
“It’s a preventative measure to remind everybody that it’s fire season,” said Jesse Bender, fire information and education specialist at the BLM. “Hopefully, the prevention order will remind people of the possibility of fire and keep it in the front of their minds.”
Bender said Idaho is not at any particularly high risk for fire this summer, although Idahoans should still be careful. Each year, Idaho’s wildfire team responds to an average of 330 fires that burn about 270,000 acres of public and private lands, according to the BLM’s official website.
The order prohibits discharging, using or possessing fireworks without a special permit on public BLM administered lands, according to the BLM.
It also bans discharging a firearm using incendiary or tracer ammunition, gun rounds that can ignite fire and burning, igniting or causing to burn explosive material, including exploding targets, according to the BLM’s fire safety information website.
Troy Lloyd, a sophomore studying business, said he was surprised at the law.
“I had no idea any fire restrictions even existed in Idaho,” Lloyd said.
Violation of the Fire Prevention Order can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 12 months of imprisonment, according to the Idaho State Journal. Charges can be added if a wildfire results from the violation. Perpetrators will have to pay the fire suppression costs as well as damages.
Bender said Idahoans should be careful to not use fireworks on public land around Independence Day, which is the middle of the fire season.
She said Idaho requires firework users to have a special permit, which is free.
“My biggest fight is to just keep pushing reminders about the Order and fire safety,” Bender said.
Harrison Scoville, a sophomore studying political science, said it could be a struggle to remind people of the Prevention Order.
“I’m not sure people will see the difference between using fireworks with a permit and using fireworks without a permit,” Scoville said.
The Fire Prevention Order is one of two special precautions the state takes to make sure Idaho stays fire-free during the summer months.
The state also requires permits for all burning, excluding campfires, outside of city limits from May 10 through Oct. 20, according to the BLM’s fire safety information website.
The Fire Prevention Order does not cover campfires at popular places like the sand dunes outside St. Anthony, Bender said. However, there are important regulations to follow while starting campfires at the dunes.
Shannon Bassista, an Upper Snake Field Office outdoor official, said enforcers have recently ticketed people for fires at the dunes.
“The small, flat area of the dunes where the fire rings are located are where campfires at the dunes are appropriate,” Bassista said.
Campfires at the dunes are only allowed in a small area across the street from the parking area on Red Road/N 1900 E, according to the Idaho Bureau’s website.