Celebration Park, an archeological and recreational site located in Melba, begins its campfire ban today. (Courtesy of Canyon County Parks, Cultural and Natural Resources Department)
As of July 26, all the park’s campfire pits will be closed. Campfires outside of the pits, including portable campfire pits, are also prohibited. However, this does not include propane camp stoves. Propane stoves are allowed for park usage.
Located in Melba along the Snake River, Celebration Park is a recreational site offering educational activities, camping, fishing and boating access.
Laura Barbour, the assistant director of Canyon County Parks, said that the park gets about 100,000 visitors each year. During the summer months, the campsite is usually full and has up to 40 people per day.
With the hot and dry weather conditions, campfires put Idaho parks and land at risk.
In 2015, Barbour said there was a fire near the Celebration Park property, burning along the Snake River Canyon reaching the park’s historic railroad bridge.
The fire danger level at Celebration Park remains very high to extreme. The Canyon County Parks Department monitors fire danger at the Idaho Fire Information website. The website offers data on active fires and wildfire danger in the different Idaho Bureau of Land Management districts.
What can Idahoans do to prevent a fire while camping? Barbour said campers should clear fuel back from the area where they want to have a campfire and to make sure they completely put out a campfire before leaving a site.
“We are very much a desert, and it’s highly invaded with cheatgrass and other invasive species that are really flammable,” she said. “I encourage people to do their research before they go out to camp to make sure they know if fires are allowed in specific areas.”
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