Cyclist Burns Used Toilet Paper, Starts Forest Fire

Kyle Green/Idaho Statesman via AP/KTVB 7
Kyle Green/Idaho Statesman via AP/KTVB 7

On Wednesday, a cyclist traveling through the Hulls Gulch Reserve in Boise, Idaho, started a 73-acre fire when he burned the toilet paper he used after pooping in the forest.

The Boise Fire department posted on Facebook:

Great team effort by Boise Fire and BLM crews yesterday afternoon! The fire at Hulls Gulch Reserve, located in the 3000 block of N. Sunset Peak off 8th Street near the Sidewinder trail was called in at 1:30pm. Resources included 5 brush rigs, water tender, 5 command staff, 2 helicopters, 2 dozers, and 4 BLM engines. The 73-acre fire was human caused.

The cyclist told the Boise Fire Dispatch Center that he thought he had acted correctly by burning the toilet paper rather than throwing it away, but one of the embers of the fire hit dry grass, and the fire was jump-started.

Carrie Bilbao, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Land Management, told NTVB, “I guess when you gotta go, you gotta go,” adding, “in these fuel types, it’s not a good idea.”

The Boise Fire Dispatch Center advised burying or removing human waste from areas that could catch fire, joking, “pack it in, pack it out.”


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