Labor Day forecast: Dry, hot - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Labor Day forecast: Dry, hot

Fire danger to be high; Camp sites expected to fill up

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Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2011 12:00 am

If you're hoping for stability in the weather and gas prices for Labor Day weekend, it looks like you're going to get it.

Climatologist Cliff Harris said the forecast calls for dry and hot weather.

"It looks like high pressure will keep the skies pretty clear over the entire weekend," he said.

Harris predicts Saturday and Sunday will be in the mid-80s, while Monday could reach as high as 92.

Harris said that, before Wednesday, the last measurable precipitation in this area was on July 25 when .04 inches fell.

"It's the fourth-longest dry spell that we've ever had," he said. "We'll still have to watch out over Labor Day weekend for fires because everything is tinder dry."

Jason Kirchner, Idaho Panhandle National Forest spokesman, said the fire danger will be rated as "high" or "very high," depending on location, so he urges extreme caution in the backcountry.

"You don't want to be that person who burns down a forest, someone's home or, worse yet, hurts or kills someone trying to put out the fire," he said. "If you come across an unattended fire, call 911. The earlier we get on fires, the better chance we have of stopping it before it gets too big."

The Outlet Campground on the south end of Priest Lake and the Lake Elsie site in the Silver Valley are closed due to maintenance, but Kirchner said all other local campgrounds have openings on a first-come, first-serve basis.

"As we get closer to the weekend, sites will fill up," he said. "Before you leave on Thursday or Friday, it's a good idea to call our offices to see how many spots are still open where you're going."

Office numbers are listed at

Campers are not allowed to pay for sites early as a way to reserve a spot when they're not staying there.

Dave Carlson, spokesman for the AAA travel agency, said he expects little or no change in gas prices this weekend.

The price in Coeur d'Alene averaged $3.65 on Tuesday, compared to $3.64 a month ago, $3.05 six months ago and $2.95 a year ago.

"Historically, August is the slowest news month of the year for crude oil and gasoline markets," Carlson said. "Despite a major drop in oil prices several weeks ago, most of the declines never made their way to Idaho pumps. In fact, Idaho retail prices were so steady, it looked like nothing was going on in the markets. That suggests that gasoline inventories are tight in the region."

However, conditions indicate that prices could be on the rise in a few weeks.

"Rising wholesale prices suggest that gasoline prices may go up nationwide by a dime," he said. "It may be that snug gasoline inventories, the brief shutdown of refineries due to the hurricane and maintenance and repair work on refineries in the Midwest and West Coast will put upward pressure on pump prices."

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1 comment:

  • The Truth posted at 9:27 am on Thu, Sep 1, 2011.

    The Truth Posts: 2193

    Guess we're gonna end up with a lot of people from Washington getting in our way...

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