Fire Management

 Wildfire News

Fire Restrictions:  The Payette National Forest does not have any fire restrictions at this time.

Fire Closures: Due to the Dixie Fire on the Nez Perce National Forest, some trails have been closed on the Krassel and McCall Rnager Districts on the south side of the river.  Click this link for more information.  There are no other fire related closures on the Forest at this time.

There are no active wildfires burning on the Forest at this time.

The Payette National Forest will be conducting prescribed burn this spring and fall - please visit this story map for current information on specific prescribed burns.  Depending on weather conditions, burns could take place anytime from April to early July, then again in September through October.  These prescribed fires reduce surface fuels, increase height of the canopy, reduce small tree densities, and promote fire resilient trees, thereby improving our ability to protect communities from wildfire as well as conserve current and future timber values.  Additionally, these fires improve wildlife habitat, promote long-term ecosystem integrity and sustainability by reducing the risk of high-severity wildland fire. 

For timely updates on wildfires, the Payette National Forest uses Facebook and Twitter for posting fire information.  Follow us on FaceBook: US-Forest-Service-Payette-National-Forestand on Twitter at:

Fire Information on the internet:  For all wildfires over 100 acres in size, Inciweb is used to post fire information.  Visit Inciweb at this link: 

We have established a fire information hotline that will have the most up to date information about fires burning on the Forest.  This is a recorded message that is updated daily.  Payette National Forest Fire Information Hotline and Fire Information Center:  208-634-0820.


Fires in the Intermountain Region

The map below is produced by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group and is hosted on the National Fire Situational Awareness page, where users may access the map in a full browser view. Additional incident specific information may also be accessed at InciWeb.


Fire has always been a part of nature

Photograph - shows a column of smoke from a wildland fire in the forestThe writings of the early Northwest explorers and settlers mention that forest and range fires were commonplace. Then, as now, most fires were lightning caused.  After huge forest fires burned large sections of Idaho in 1910, the Forest Service made suppressing wildfires a primary part of its mission.  Foresters knew that some trees had developed unique ways to survive fire, but little was known about what would happen to the forests if you fully excluded fire from the forest ecosystem.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Forest Service researched the role of fire in western ecosystems.  They found that deadwood and undergrowth, which would normally be burned up by natural fires, was building up over time due to the absence of fires.  This buildup was increasing the potential for wildfires in the future.  Eventually, this lead to a change in management philosophy and the practice of allowing fire to play a more natural role in certain ecosystems.  Today, the Payette National Forest conducts thousands of acres of prescribed burning per year.

The Payette National Forest is home to some of the best firefighters, and their mission has not changed.  Fires that are not planned, or pose a threat to human safety or property continue to be actively suppressed.

Fire as a Tool

Dispatch Operating Guidelines:  The intent of this plan is to facilitate centralized dispatching within the Payette National Forest protection area as identified in the Payette Fire Management Plan.  This plan identifies Payette Dispatch’s initial response to fires as specified by fire managers.  If you have question regarding this plan, please call our Fire Information line at 208-634-0820.


Firefighting Resources

The National Firewise Communities program is a multi-agency effort designed to reach beyond the Forest Service by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, and others in an effort to protect people, property, and natural resources from the rush of wildland fire - before a fire starts. Click this Firewise link for more information.