(Idaho Department of Lands Press Release, October 19, 2022)
Boise, Idaho–“Closed fire season,” which is otherwise known as the five months of the year that burn permits are legally required in Idaho, ends Thursday, October 20, for most of the state. Burn permits are normally required May 10 through October 20 each year and are issued by the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL).
This year, due to continuing dry conditions coupled with higher-than-average daytime temperatures, fire managers extended closed fire season for the Southern Idaho Timber Protective Association (SITPA) until 11:59 pm MT on Sunday, October 30.
SITPA’s forest protection coverage includes a broad swath of Valley and Adams counties covering areas around Cascade and McCall, and stretching from the Little Salmon River to south of Smiths Ferry. The district provides fire protection on more than 530,000 acres.
Idaho law requires any person planning to burn outside city limits within Idaho, including crop residue burning, to obtain a state burn permit during the closed period.
“Extending the closed fire season in our area is crucial for preventing late-season, unwanted human caused wildfires,” said Rich Stiles, SITPA’s Deputy Fire Warden. “Based on conditions, our fire managers will determine what types of permits will be issued, and residents are encouraged to call our office with questions.”
SITPA’s McCall office can be reached by calling 208-634-2268.
“For areas where debris burning is permitted, although obtaining a burn permit after the closed season ends is not required, there are good reasons to voluntarily apply for the free permit,” said IDL Fire Management Chief Josh Harvey. “No matter the time of year, anyone starting a fire may be responsible for that fire until it is out. If your fire gets away, you can be held responsible and liable for any property damages and for fire suppression costs.”
For most debris burning, IDL Burn Permits are free and issued immediately upon application online at https://burnpermits.idaho.gov/. Permits for burning crop residue are issued by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and available online at https://www2.deq.idaho.gov/air/CRB/.
If you plan to burn debris this fall, conditions on the ground still warrant extreme caution. “Following these simple, common-sense tips can help prevent your fire from escaping, and may help limit your liability if it gets away from you,” Harvey added.
General Burning Guidelines
- Clear all flammable material and vegetation within 10 feet of the outer edge of pile.
- Keep a water supply and shovel close to the burning site.
- A responsible adult is required by law to be in attendance until the fire is out.
- If it’s windy and the surrounding vegetation is very dry, it may be best to wait and burn debris another day.
More information about fire prevention information and burning guidelines can be found at https://www.idl.idaho.gov/fire-management/fire-prevention-and-preparedness/.
About IDL Fire: Idaho Department of Lands Fire Management (IDL Fire) in partnership with two Timber Protection Associations and with the support of rural volunteer fire departments and other partners, are responsible for fire suppression and prevention on more than 6 million acres of state and private forests and rangelands in Idaho. IDL Fire focuses on initial attack with the goal of keeping fires at 10 acres or less. IDL Fire protects and preserves important endowment timber assets that help fund Idaho schools and other beneficiaries, as well as millions of acres of private forestland.