Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Fire closures may affect hunts in Idaho's Salmon Region

Two large wildfires and associated areas closed by the U.S. Forest Service may affect early-season hunting opportunities in parts of Game Management Units 21, 27, 36 and 36B.

Hunters who plan to hunt in these areas should monitor the "Incident Information System" website at www.inciweb.org, or contact fire officials before heading out to hunt.

The Halstead fire northwest of Stanley and the Mustang Fire west of North Fork are both large fires of more than 75,000 acres each, and large areas have been closed by the U.S. Forest Service to ensure human safety.

The Halstead fire closure includes all of GMU 36 north of Highways 21 and 75, as well as smaller areas south of those highways; most of GMU 36B west of Squaw Creek; and the southern portion of GMU 27, roughly south of the Middle Fork Salmon River and Sleeping Deer Road.

The closure area for the Mustang fire includes all of GMU 21 west of Indian Creek and the eastern portion of GMU 20.

Up-to-date fire information is available through the InciWeb web site.

Specific links, which include updates, maps, and additional contact information, are:

    Halstead fire: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3062/

    Mustang fire: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3100/


Because fires are actively burning and may to continue burning for some time, closure areas may change. Smoke from fires may also affect visibility and air quality in surrounding areas.

Idaho Fish and Game does not recommend closing hunts or altering season dates in response to fire restrictions. Hunters affected by a fire closure can adjust their schedule to hunt later in the season or exchange general tags to hunt in a different area.

But tags must be exchanged before the season begins – August 30 for general archery seasons. Hunters with controlled hunt tags may exchange them for general season tags before the controlled hunt begins. Controlled hunt fees will not be refunded. Hunters may contact licensing at 208-334-2592.

Fish and Game will consider requests for rain checks or refunds in the event that access to a hunting unit is blocked by fire. Hunters requesting a rain check will be required to submit their tags and permits with a letter describing the conditions of their request.

Rain checks would be evaluated case-by-case at the end of the hunting season. Rain checks would be valid in 2013 and offered only for the same species and hunt area as the hunter held in 2012.

Written requests should be sent to the license section at Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707 when the season is over.

Tom Keegan, is regional wildlife manager for the Salmon Region.

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