Burn permits now required

| May 12, 2020 1:00 AM

Before you can start burning that yard debris, you first have to get a fire burn permit from the Idaho Department of Lands. Closed fire season takes place annually between May 10 and extends through October 20.

With the threat of COVID-19, the burn permit system is more important than ever, protecting firefighters by reducing the number of false alarms and allowing fire crews to respond only when truly needed. Having a burn permit on record means fire managers can also respond more quickly to fires that escape. This can also potentially reduce the liability of the burner if their fire escapes.

The burn permit is free of charge, good for 10 days after it is issued, and can be obtained online at burnpermits.idaho.gov. Permits issued through the self- service website are available seven days a week and are immediately issued and valid. A permit may also be issued by calling an IDL office, phone numbers can be found at www.idl.idaho.gov/about-us/supervisory-areas/. Permits are not required for recreational campfires.

IDL will not issue burn permits within districts where local burn bans are in effect. If there are other burning restrictions in effect or additional or alternate permits required, the burn permit website will provide instructions on how to contact those entities. Information on burn restrictions based on air quality can be found by calling Idaho Department of Environmental Quality at (800) 633-6247 or by visiting http://www2.deq.idaho.gov/air/AQIPublic/Map/OutdoorBurn.

State burn permits may be issued in person, however, the lobbies of IDL offices are currently closed to the public due to COVID-19. Individual meetings may be scheduled by calling the office and customers are asked to wear face masks during the meeting. The public is highly encouraged to obtain a permit by phone or through the IDL burn permit website to lessen exposure.

During the closed fire season, Idaho law (38-115) requires any person planning to burn outside city limits within Idaho, including crop residue burning, obtain a state fire burn permit.