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October 1
Bonners Ferry Ranger District takes over fires management: A type 3 Bonners Ferry Ranger District incident management organization assumed command of the Kootenai River Complex today under the command of Brian Hicks and Mitch Prophett, with 155 personnel. The complex is now estimated at 22,559 acres in size, with the Russell Mountain Fire at 22,006 acres, Long Canyon at 201 and the Katka Fire at 351 acres.
September 30
South Boundary Fire Pancake Breakfast, Silent Auction and Car Seat Clinic
South Boundary Fire will host its annual Pancake Breakfast, Silent Auction, and Car Seat Clinic from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Station 1 on School House Road in Naples!
Many fantastic auction items have been donated by our amazing community, including auto detailing from North Idaho Collision and one ton of energy logs or wood pellets from Lignetics Inc., Under the Sun, Timber’s Road Side Grill, Pizza Factory, Lou’s Barber Shop, Grocery Outlet, Main Street Hair, Beck’s Furniture, Super 1 Foods, Wood’s meats, Community Thrift, Center Valley Veterinary Hospital as well as several community members and more have graciously donated goods and services.   
Bonners Ferry man arrested in Sandpoint drug bust: Sandpoint Police executed three search warrants this week at residences of suspected drug dealers. On Monday, September 26, Sandpoint Police assisted a DEA taskforce with a search warrant in south Sandpoint that resulted in the discovery of an undisclosed amount of colored fentanyl pills, commonly known as “Skittles,” and other drug related paraphernalia. This warrant is related to an earlier investigation that intercepted a large delivery of fentanyl to the residence.
County commission agenda, week of October 3 
September 29
Bonners Ferry girl needs community's help: Kellie Hayden Nelson, who grew up in Bonners Ferry and graduated from Bonners Ferry High School in 1983, was recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Now living in Townsend, Montana, she is undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy and blood transfusions at a Seattle hospital, a stay expected to last at least seven months.
Prescribed burning planned on IPNF: Favorable conditions are forecasted in the coming weeks to provide prescribed burning opportunities across the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Multiple prescribed burning projects are planned this fall, although the exact day of ignitions will depend upon conditions aligning with safe implementation. Prescribed burning is part of each Ranger District’s annual natural resource management program to reduce hazardous fuels, prepare areas for tree planting, and improve wildlife forage.
Mother of state senator supports write-in candidate Steve Johnson: “For someone who claims to be a Christian,” Gini Woodward said at a recent gathering, “Steve’s opponent’s words and attitudes are unchristian-like.” She earlier had given full-throated support to Steve Johnson, lifelong farmer from Bonner County, to become far-north Idaho’s next state senator. She addressed 15 residents of northernmost Boundary County who gathered at the Mt Hall Fire Station September to hear Johnson.
Boundary County Commissioner's minutes, week of September 19 
Boundary County Commissioner's minutes, week of September 12
Long Canyon fire flares up: Wednesday was a much more active fire day than the previous few days. A lot of smoke and fog was held down at low elevations by the inversion, but parts of the fire burning above the inversion were putting up straight columns of smoke. An area in Long Canyon burned upslope Wednesday, reaching the ridge line but stayed on the south slope of Long Canyon Creek. The Kootenai River Complex fires are now estimated to have charred 22,482 acres, with the Russell Mountain fire at 21,975 acres, Long Canyon now 157 acres and the Katka Fire at 349 acres.
September 28
SD101 Executive Council nixes gender identity policy
Boundary County School District 101 Superintendent Jan Bayer said this afternoon's executive council meeting went well, with those in attendance all being respectful and kind. The council voted to recommend not moving forward with new policy #3281: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation, and to move the other policy amendments on the agenda forward for school board review with minor changes.
Long Canyon Fire getting frisky ...  
The Long Canyon Fire, spotted September 16 and incorporated into the Kootenai River Complex, flared up and became more active today, raising concerns of another new start. U.S. Forest Service firefighters working the complex are aware and are monitoring and responding to the flare-up.
Car rescued from river: At about 8 a.m. Thursday, September 22, the Boundary County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a vehicle in the Kootenai River at the public boat launch off of Riverside Street in Bonners Ferry. Bonners Ferry Fire, Bonners Ferry Police and Boundary County Sheriff’s Office personnel responded and quickly determined that the vehicle was unoccupied.
September 27
SD101 executive council meeting likely to be divisive: The Boundary County School District 101 executive council will meet tomorrow with an agenda almost certain to raise the ire of that faction of our community concerned about our public library facilitating the "grooming" of young patrons and "exposing" them to what they consider to be inappropriate material. The council will be considering updates to several existing school policies, as well as a new one, "Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation."
Sample ballot November 8 general election
Juvenile who threatened high school cooperating with police, school administrators
On Monday, September 26, Boundary County School District 101 and Bonners Ferry Police were made aware of threats of violence toward Bonners Ferry High School. The juvenile who made the threats has been investigated and is cooperating with law enforcement. The safety of our students and staff in Boundary County School District remains our number one priority. Parents/guardians were made aware of the situation last night via a phone message from the principal. ~ Superintendent Jan Bayer, Principal Lisa Iverson, BFPD Officer Brandon Johnson
Kootenai River Complex to be transitioned to district: Fire behavior was a little more active causing widespread smoke and fog at lower elevations due to an inversion layer coupled with light winds. This made fire progression monitoring challenging for operations at night and in the early mornings, including the ability to monitor control lines by air. The Kootenai River Complex is at 21,805 acres, Russell Mountain Fire 21,472 acres, Katka Fire 333 acres, up 617 acres in the week since Wednesday, September 21.
September 26
Boundary County First Judicial District Court dispositions
September 25
Kootenai River Complex fires at 85-percent completion: Smoke and fog have been settling at low elevations and have been slow to lift during the day. This has made monitoring difficult in the mornings for firefighters but has also kept fire behavior relatively low. Dead and down heavy fuels continue to be the main source of fire and smoke. There are 221 personnel working the Kootenai Complex Fires, completion is at 85-percent.
September 24
Boundary County Commission agenda, week of September 26 
September 23
Homecoming ... bringing out the best of who we are: Homecoming is an American tradition. It's tailor-made for the social customs of high schools and universities all over this country, and being so, it reflects the values of the cultures therein. It's named for the coming-home (so to speak) of the alumni of whichever institution is hosting it. Tonight, after a game last Friday far away and gone clear down in Connell, Washington, the Bonners Ferry Badgers of this season return home to face an opponent on the sod upon which they trained, most for years.
September 22
Mt. Hall Wildcats grateful for all the work: It’s back to school season at Mt. Hall! As most know, we were delayed in opening our doors due to construction, but now that we’re up and running it’s as if staff and students haven’t missed a beat! We’ve officially got restrooms and a cafeteria among tons of other updates thanks to our incredible maintenance and custodial team in Boundary County School District and BF Builders. By Principal Kylee Guthrie
Transportation board approves its largest ITIP: The Idaho Transportation Board approved the recommended FY2023-2029 Idaho Transportation Investment Program (ITIP) today during its monthly meeting in Boise. The ITIP is the department's seven-year investment plan, and reflects unprecedented funding levels created by Governor Brad Little's "Leading Idaho" initiatives and supported by the Idaho Legislature. This resulted in the most projects, and the largest ITIP that the department has ever had.
Skatepark alliance having fun, making gains: The Boundary County Skatepark Alliance, an all-volunteer skate park advocacy group, formed as a special committee of the Boundary County Parks and Recreation Department Board, is working on the long-term, three to five year goal of replacing the existing and aging 2,000 square foot skate park with a beautiful 8,000 to 10,000 square foot wheeled sports park, designed by our community for our community for skaters, skateboarders, scooter riders, and maybe even BMX bike riders, for decades to come.
September 21
Shred Day here Saturday: Boundary County is hosting a free community Shred Day event beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 24, at the county fairgrounds in the large gravel parking area, 6567 Recreation Park Road, Bonners Ferry. A mobile shredding truck will take household and business papers and securely shred them until 1 p.m. or until the truck reaches their maximum allowable weight.
Steve Johnson visits Mt. Hall to talk senate campaign: Idaho District 1 Senate write-in candidate Steve Johnson explained to a group of voters in north Boundary County Tuesday his three main objectives if he is elected in November. First and foremost, he said, is to get the homeowner’s exemption to property taxes doubled from its current $125,00 to $250,000 so that folks are able to afford to live their lives in their own homes. He gave an example of property near his longtime farm, a neighbor with 160 acres who is selling it in five-acre pieces. By Clarice McKenney
Kootenai River Complex fires more active Tuesday: Fire activity increased yesterday and overnight with winds from the northeast gusting up the mountain slopes. The fire is still mainly creeping and smoldering through the understory, with some scattered flare ups reaching treetops. An infrared detection flight occurred last night, so reported size has increased by 281 acres since the last detection on Saturday. The Russell Mountain Fire is now 20,869 acres, the Katka Fire 319 acres.
September 19
Boundary County First Judicial District Court dispositions
Fire activity expected to increase today: Active fires can mean National Forest trail and road closures on National Forests. Closures near the Westside Road are intended to keep people safe from active fire and responding suppression equipment, but they also keep visitors from areas where the risk of falling hazard trees is extreme. Anyone looking to get out into the Selkirk Mountains still has access to spots to the north or south of the fire like Smith Creek or Roman Nose Mountain.
September 18
Kootenai River Complex growth slowing: The amount of daylight in a 24-hour period, also known as ‘diurnal effects,’ has an impact on wildland fire behavior, especially during late season fires. The temperature, wind and humidity values fluctuate throughout the day. When the sun sets earlier in the day, this creates shadier spots on south facing mountain slopes and minimizes the pre-heating and drying of vegetation resulting in lower fire intensity during peak burn times.
September 17
Suspected arsonist held without bond: An early morning fire Monday at the U.S. Forest Service fire camp at the Boundary County Fairgrounds is believed to have been deliberately set and a suspect, Michael F. Mock, 30, Bonners Ferry, was arrested for arson. According to a U.S. Forest Service incident report, two people were sleeping in the yurt, one of nine set up in the camp, when one woke to the smell of smoke, saw the fire on the opposite side, and got them both outside.
Folks wonder why some fairgrounds events cancelled: Folks have been asking why certain events are still happening at the Boundary County Fairgrounds but why most have been cancelled. To help you understand and to give you an ‘"inside" view, fair personnel are sharing some photos of what a fire camp looks like as the U.S. Forest Service has moved onto much of the fairgrounds campus. The Forest Service is renting all three of the event buildings – the Valley Event Center, Exhibit Hall and Memorial Hall.
Just 18 acres growth on Kootenai River Complex Fires: Today is a transition day on the Kootenai River Complex Fires. The Type 2 Eastern Gold Team is shadowing Northern Rockies Team 4 in all aspects of managing this complex of fires. Personnel in all functions will share information and details from what has been experienced and completed over the past two weeks and help set up the new team to be successful managing the fires moving forward. Incident Management Teams are typically on assignment for 14 days, so this transition is a regular part of managing a large fire.
September 16
Norris asks library board to withdraw from ALA, rescind collection policy: On Thursday, Adrienne Norris, one of the organizers of the recall petition seeking to unseat four of the five Boundary County Library board members who either voted in June to adopt a new Materials Selection and Collection Development Chapter to its policy manual or who weren't there to cast a vote, sent the following letter to the library board, asking for immediate withdrawal from the American Library Association and repeal of the June policy amendment.
Bonners Ferry Truck & Tractor Pull going on as scheduled: The Bonners Ferry Truck & Tractor Pull scheduled for Saturday, September 17, will occur as scheduled. At the same time, large portions of the county fairgrounds are still being used by the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team as their fire camp. Organizers of the tractor pull coordinated with the IMT, the Boundary County Fair Board, and county officials to ensure the tractor pull event and IMT fire support activities will not interfere with each other.
Boundary County School District 101 board meeting, 6 p.m. Monday, September 19
Reclaim Idaho volunteers celebrate: Luke Mayville, a founder of Reclaim Idaho, told the gathering of 50 volunteers in Sandpoint Thursday why the grass roots group withdrew Proposition 1 from the November ballot. “We’re here to celebrate because we forced the legislature to support education by $410 million per year,” Mayville told the crowd. By Clarice M McKenney
Boundary County Commission agenda, week of September 19
Fire evacuation status reduced to 'ready:' Residents of Westside Road are being advised they can reduce their evacuation preparation status to “ready.” They had been at “set” status since September 1, when the Scotch Creek Fire was unpredictable and could have reached the road and threatened homes there. The Scotch Creek Fire has since merged with the Russell Fire, which has made contact with fire control lines and is currently being mopped up along the west side of the road. No structures were damaged as the fire burned down to the control lines.
Fire crews prepare for winds, mop up continues: Hazard trees are fire-weakened or dead standing trees that have a high probability of falling over at any time posing a threat to firefighter or public safety. There are several sections of the Westside Road where the fire reached the road and has affected some standing trees, creating some hazard trees. As of this morning, the Kootenai River Complex fires are estimated at 20,821 acres, with the Russell Mountain Fire at 20,511 acres and the Katka Fire at 309 acres. There are 333 personnel working the fires and completion remains at 79-percent.
September 15
Conservatives are making gains: Idaho District 1, Seat A Representative Heather Scott spoke to a largely appreciative gathering Thursday, September 8, in the Ktunaxa Room at the Kootenai River Inn, lauding the number of conservative liberty candidates in Idaho who won their primaries in local and state offices and the stand taken in Boundary County to keep porn out of the hands of children in its public library. But she warned patriots that there is still much to be done to ensure that "we, the people" are heard in the halls of a government that disparages them.
Air quality advisory issued
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air quality advisory for Boundary and Bonner Counties, with air expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups through Friday and degrade to unhealthy on Saturday. Open burning is currently prohibited.
On national forests, e-bikes are motorized vehicles: Bicycles assisted by an electric motor— commonly called e-bikes— are an increasingly popular way to enjoy the outdoors. Hunters frequently use e-bikes, as well, for quiet access to remote areas and assistance with game retrieval. With fall hunting season underway, the Idaho Panhandle National Forests reminds riders that e-bikes remain classified as “motorized vehicles” under the USDA Forest Service’s Travel Management Rule. As such, they must operate on the same routes designated for other motor vehicles.
Fire growth minimal, mop up begins: Yesterday, thunderstorms moved over the fire area bringing both lightning and varying amounts of rain from .45 inch on the south side and .10 to .20 inch on the north side. This moisture has kept fire activity minimal but has not put the fire out. The overnight infrared detection flight did not get full coverage of the fire due to scattered cloud cover. The total increase in the size of the Complex was calculated to be two acres, with the size of the Kootenai River Complex at 20,744 acres. There are 366 personnel working the fires and completion remains at 79-percent.
Naples Elementary Wolverines start strong! The Naples Wolverines are off and running into the 2022-2023 school year. Some of them are hopping, galloping, or dancing. However you look at it, they’re moving! The new school year brought exciting changes to our building. New classroom cabinets, new gym paint, and a few new walls to kick us off. Now that those jobs are complete, we will begin to watch the new addition rise up on the north end of the building. By Robin Merrifield
September 14
Library's future rests where it belongs; on the board: While the Boundary County Library Board got a reprieve from Idaho Counties Risk Management Program (ICRMP) at their Tuesday board meeting, being granted a new 90-day policy that goes into effect when the one now in force expires September 31, chair Bob Blanford and former interim director Sandy Ashworth did not leave Boise unscathed, as the ICRMP board gave harsh review of the library board's laissez-faire management practices and gave until the next ICRMP board meeting in October to see progress or face losing its liability policy December 31.
Library board grateful to staff, ICRMP: The board of trustees for the Boundary County Library is pleased to announce a three-month extension to insurance coverage for the Boundary County Library. In a unanimous vote, the board of ICRMP, the insurance provider for the library and many of the public institutions for the state of Idaho, granted the library 90 days to rectify policy and administrative weaknesses that led to the original decision to cancel insurance coverage for the library as of October 2022.
Library is open with new hours
The Boundary County Library is open with new hours through September, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. In addition, the library board has negotiated a three-month extension on liability insurance with ICRMP. I have reached out for additional information and will report as soon as I hear. ~ Mike Weland
Kootenai River Complex now low-intensity ground fires: Smoke filled skies and light winds kept fire activity minimal throughout the day on Tuesday. The Katka, now at 305 acres, and Russell Mountain Fires, 20,436 acres continue to burn as low intensity ground fires. As of this morning's infrared overflight, the Kootenai River Complex fires now encompass 20,742 acres and objectives are 79-percent completed, with 369 personnel working the fires.
September 13
Boundary County women can win with mammogram: Breast cancer has a very high survival rate when caught early, yet Boundary County is significantly behind the rest of the state in the number of annual breast cancer screenings! BCH wants to change that statistic. To encourage more women to get screened for breast cancer, we will enter every woman who schedules a mammogram in September or October into a chance to win a Yeti Roadie Cooler or a Yeti Tumbler!
Kootenai River Complex at 79-percent completion: Due to cloud cover, the overnight infrared detection flight was not able to fly last night and therefore no change in fire size was recorded today. Completion, a newer phrase in Wildland Fire, relates to the rate at which certain parts of the incident objectives have been completed. At present 346 personnel working the fires have reached 79-percent completion, the rate at which firelines have been completed alongside and using the Westside Road.
Attention Boundary County Republicans: The November election is quickly approaching! The Boundary County Republican Central Committee voted last night that poll challengers and ballot witnesses need to contact them on or before our next regular scheduled meeting of October 3. Challengers/witnesses must be a registered Republican and a resident of Boundary County.
Naples grizzly put down: On September 12, Idaho Fish and Game along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA Wildlife Services euthanized a large adult male grizzly bear in Boundary County near the town of Naples. There has been a series of livestock losses due to grizzly bears this spring and summer, and this is the second grizzly bear to be euthanized in Boundary County in 2022.
September 12
Upcoming Second Harvest distribution cancelled due to fires
The Second Harvest food distribution truck for September 23 has been cancelled. The Boundary County Fairgrounds are being used for the Fire Command Center and it has not been possible to find a suitable alternate site. The next scheduled distribution will be October 14 at the fairgrounds.  
Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative Board meeting, 7 p.m. Monday, September 19 
West side fires merge into one, reach firelines, road: Slow growth on the Kootenai River Complex fires yesterday and over night, adding 404 acres. The complex fires have burned 19,708 acres as of 8:09 a.m. today. The Russell Mountain and Trout Fires burned together and will now be called the Russell Mountain Fire, 19,445 acres in size. The Katka Fire is at 262 acres, no change from Sunday.
Update on county 'Ready, Set, Go' evacuation status: Shannon Schaeffer photoFire reached the Westside Road on Saturday.Fires in the Kootenai River Complex have now grown together and have all become the Russell Mountain Fire. At the daily operations briefing this morning the combined total acreage burned in all three fires in the complex was at just over 19,700 acres. By Andrew O'Neel, Boundary County Public Information
Boundary County First Judicial District Court dispositions
Bonners Ferry air quality hazardous: At 3:05 a.m. today, air quality readings for the Bonners Ferry area, taken at the Kootenai Tribal Mission gauge, have degraded to hazardous. Readings at Mt. Hall and Porthill show unhealthy. In areas with unhealthy air, children, asthmatics and people with heart or lung conditions should avoid the outdoors and all others should reduce their outdoors exertion. When the Air Quality Index is “hazardous,” everyone is affected.
September 11
Three west side fires merge into two: Yesterday, the Russell Mountain Fire continued to slowly back down the mountain slope west of the Westside Road. The observed fire activity continued to be low intensity, with backing ground fire slowly moving downhill. The fire reached the constructed fireline and Westside Road in several locations between Trout Creek Road and Ball Creek Road as the Kootenai River Complex Fires grew to 19,304 acres, up 840 acres from Saturday morning.
Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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9B News appreciates and welcomes press releases and news tips topical to Boundary County, Idaho. Call (208) 295-1016 or email mike@9b.news!
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