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IDL fire burn permits no longer required

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – State burn permits from the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) are no longer required for burning activities outside of city limits beginning Oct. 21, but you are still encouraged to voluntarily obtain the free permits when burning this fall.

A state burn permit from IDL is required for any burning (excluding recreational campfires) outside of city limits during closed fire season, from May 10 through Oct. 20.

While state permits will not be required after the 20th, local fire departments, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and/or tribal authorities should be contacted before burning to determine if other permits are required or if local restrictions are in place.

“Obtaining a free burn permit outside of the closed fire season helps local authorities quickly identify whether reports of smoke are due to intentional debris burning or unintentional late-season wildfires,” Idaho Department of Lands Director Dustin Miller said. “IDL’s free online burn permit application also helps citizens identify local restrictions that may still be in effect.”

Humans, not lightning, caused nearly 61% of the wildfires this year on lands protected by the Idaho Department of Lands, accounting for nearly 13,000 acres burned. Many of these fires were preventable as they were ignited by escaped debris burning and campfires.

“While we will no longer be in closed fire season, there is still a risk of fire,” Miller said. “We all need to do our part, using common sense and caution when burning yard waste, slash, or having a campfire when hunting.”

Please use caution whenever burning by following these steps:

  • Check for required permits. Don’t forget to check with local fire departments, DEQ, and/or tribal authorities.
  • Be prepared. Keep water, a shovel and other resources on hand to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • Check weather conditions. Do not burn when it is windy or when there is a chance weather conditions may change during burning.
  • Look up. Choose a safe site for burning- away from power lines, overhanging limbs, buildings, vehicles, and equipment.
  • Look around. The burn site should be free from any other combustible materials and dry vegetation.
  • Keep your pile at a manageable size. Add additional debris slowly as the pile burns down.
  • Completely extinguish. If it is too hot to touch with an ungloved hand, it is too hot to leave. Drown, stir, repeat until dead out and cool to the touch.
  • Check the burn area regularly, especially if the weather is warm, dry, and/or windy.

While burn permits are not required after Oct. 20, IDL encourages those who plan to burn to complete the online form as it helps inform fire managers where burning activities are occurring, reducing the number of false runs to fires and saving firefighting resources for instances in which they are truly needed. The permit is free and can be obtained online at burnpermits.idaho.gov or in person at IDL offices statewide.

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