Monthly Archives: July 2015

Fire Prevention in the Wilderness

The National Forest Service shared these reminders about fire prevention in the wilderness:

If you are planning a hiking or camping trip in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, or the Gospel-Hump Wilderness please be especially cautious about actions that could cause a wildfire.

Never leave a campfire unattended.  Always add water, stir it, and make sure all embers are out.  If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave!

Always use a campfire ring when building a campfire.

Recreational shooting? Take precautions!  Never shoot into dry vegetation and always make sure you’re shooting in a safe location.  Be aware that shooting of exploding targets are not allowed on National Forest System lands in the Intermountain Region and are banned in many areas.

Refrain from smoking in wooded, grassy or brushy areas.  Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished before leaving the area.

Fireworks are illegal on public lands: every forest, every campsite, every day.  Never light fireworks in the woods.

Know before you go.  Always check with your local Ranger Station prior to your trip to get the most up to date information on fire danger and fire restrictions for the area.

Ask yourself, once I’m in the wilderness how am I going to get updated information?  We recommend that you talk to anyone that you see while on your hike, as those people may have updated information that could impact your trek through the wilderness.

It is best to preplan your route and share that information with people that are not on the hike with you.  Having predetermined check-in points with reliable methods of communication are critical to let your friend and family know where you are should someone need to make contact with you.

If you encounter a wildfire while in the wilderness, steer clear as wildfires are very unpredictable and pose hazards that most people are not familiar with.

Be cautious out there! Should you start a wildfire, even if it’s by accident, you could be held liable for damages and firefighting costs.  Should a fire start or you need to report a wildfire, it’s important to call 911 as soon as possible.

If you are recreating near an ongoing wildfire suppression operation, please keep your distance – don’t congregate in the area and allow the firefighters to do their job safely and efficiently.  Get out and enjoy the great outdoors this summer but do your part to help prevent wildfires.


Making Smokejumping History

July 12th is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the first smokejump in Forest Service history, and it occurred within Idaho’s Moose Creek Ranger District. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:30)

Listen here:

When the Blue Fire was reported on June 27th just four miles southeast of Dixie, Idaho, smokejumpers were part of the initial response to the fire. That is no surprise now, and in fact it’s hard to remember a time when smokejumpers were not part of the plan to battle fires.


(A crew arriving at the Grangeville Air Center on July 8, 2015)

The Forest Service began using aerial fire detection in the western forests after World War I, and in the late 1930s decided to drop firefighters in by parachute.


(Rufus Robinson of Kooskia, Idaho. Photo courtesy National Forest Service)

July 12th marks the 75th anniversary of the day in 1940 when pioneer smokejumpers Rufus Robinson of Kooskia, Idaho and Earl Cooley of Hamilton, Montana made the historic first jump to a fire. It was on Marten Creek within the Moose Creek Ranger District, according to Cindy Schacher, an archaeologist on the Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest:

Cindy Schacher: “The smokejumping program revolutionized how we fight fire, in that it enabled us to reduce our response time drastically, to be able to get to some of these back country, remote locations.”


(Cindy Schacher points to the location of the first smoke jump)

In 1951 a smokejumper base was established at Grangeville, and since that time, more than 9,000 fire jumps have been made from that operation.


(Part of the interpretive display in Grangeville)

This month the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests is celebrating that historic first smokejump with an interpretive display at its office in Grangeville.

I’m Glenn Mosley reporting.

Copyright 2015 Idaho Public Radio

Posted July 10, 2015

Correction: The first version of this story incorrectly listed June 20th as the date the Blue Fire was reported. It was reported on June 27th.


WSU Regents Appoint Daniel Bernardo as Interim President

The Washington State University Board of Regents today appointed Provost and Executive Vice President Daniel Bernardo as interim president. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (:55)

Listen here:

As a graduate of Washington State University, Bernardo said he was honored and humbled by the appointment as interim president, but he said he wished it was under different circumstances. Bernardo succeeds President Elson Floyd, who died June 20th.

Bernardo says the university will continue to move forward with the initiatives that Floyd put in motion, including the medical school in Spokane, a new university research plan, the WSU Everett project:

Dan Bernardo:  “We have actively messaged that things will continue with the same pace and trajectory. We actually have a pretty robust set of visits across the state set up for the rest of the summer.”

Bernardo says those visits to the university’s various campuses and with the university’s stakeholders are to make sure that they know that the university will be moving forward.

I’m Glenn Mosley reporting.

Copyright 2015 Idaho Public Radio

Posted July 7, 2015


New Shield for Vandal Soccer

The University of Idaho women’s soccer program has unveiled a new shield the team will start wearing in the upcoming season. Idaho Public radio’s Wednesday Walton reports. (:   )

Listen here:

Idaho Vandals soccer coach Derek Pittman says shields, crests, and badges are very identifiable in soccer, all around the world. He says the new Vandal shield will help the team stand out a little in the college soccer community.

Derek Pittman: “We wanted to make sure the University of Idaho and our Vandal soccer program had the same chance and the same opportunity to come up with a new logo that allows our fans, our players, as well as our potential recruits to really identify with the Vandal soccer program here at the University of Idaho.”

That’s Pittman talking in a video recently released by Vandal Athletics when the shield was introduced to the public. The shield will be seen on the team’s warm-up and practice gear starting in the upcoming season.

I’m Wednesday Walton reporting.

Posted July 7, 2015


College Tuition is Coming Down in Washington State

Tuition at Washington State University is coming down after state lawmakers reached a bipartisan agreement as part of budget negotiations. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:30 )

Listen here:

A report released in May by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said that forty-seven states spent less per student in the 2014-15 school year than they did in 2008.

And while colleges and universities in some states have managed to keep tuition relatively stable over the past two years, the fear remains that college has become too expensive and is growing out of reach for many high school graduates and their families.

In Washington state, tuition grew 34 percent over the past five years, but now, for the first time in recent memory, tuition is coming down.

The new state operating budget provides enough funding for phased in tuition breaks– a 15 percent reduction in tuition at Washington State University and the University of Washington over the next two years–five percent this fall and another ten percent in the fall of 2016. The budget replaces lost tuition revenue at the schools with new state funding. There are also tuition reductions at community colleges and technical schools.

Washington State University says that means a resident undergraduate student on the Pullman campus who paid $10,336 in tuition operating fees per academic year in fall 2014 will pay $9,819 this fall and $8,837 in fall 2016.

I’m Glenn Mosley reporting.

On the web:

Report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Posted July 3, 2015