70 pounds of nails found from the Crystal Summit Parking lot. | Courtesy U.S. Forest Service – Caribou-Targhee National Forest
ARBON — At least 70 pounds of nails were recently discovered in a rural parking lot from pallet-burning bonfires.
Local officials aren’t happy about it.
“People need to be able to go out and recreate and have fun and do things, but if they are burning up areas, littering and you got a bunch of nails and people getting a bunch of flat tires, it’s going to limit that and restrict that,” Power County Sheriff Josh Campbell said. “It’s just an abuse that doesn’t need to be happening and we want to take care of it.”
Officials said the pallet burning is happening at the Crystal Summit parking lot in Power County and it’s been happening for the past two weekends.
“We are just trying to get a handle on it before it gets out of control. Historically, we have never had problems like this there,” said Delane Anderson, a Power County commissioner who oversees over the area.
The county-owned Crystal Summit parking lot is used as a turnaround spot for snowplows with the U.S. Forest Service, which has an agreement to plow in that specific area.
According to a Facebook post by the U.S. Forest Service, “the snowplow drivers work hard to keep the lot open for users… (but) in preparation for the forecasted storms, snow removal crews gathered 70 pounds of nails from just one of these fires.”
That’s a problem, because pallet burning can bring some unintended consequences, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Jared Fisher said. One damaged tire from the nails on snowplow equipment can cost $2,000 to repair.
“Be responsible when you recreate. It’s everybody’s land and we all need to do our part to keep it clean and keep things free of debris and leave it as nice as it was so other people can enjoy it as well,” Fisher said.
The burn area of where a bonfire took place in the Crystal Summit Parking lot. | Courtesy U.S. Forest Service – Caribou-Targhee National Forest
Because of what happened, there will be deputies patrolling the area from the Power County Sheriff’s Office.
“We’re going to be in the area and cover it as much as we can,” Campbell said.
Campbell said there are a number of fines or charges that could come as a result including littering, or damage to property.
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