Gem State Roundup

Fire wardens limit number of burn permits as Idaho faces dangerous fire conditions

By: - August 15, 2022 4:00 am
Moose Fire firefighters

During the summer of 2022, more than 1,300 people have worked to knock down the Moose Fire in south central Idaho. In this photo, firefighters chase spot fires along U.S. Highway 93 in the Red Rock/Comet Creek area. (Mike McMillian/Salmon-Challis National Forest)

Rising temperatures over the past few weeks have placed all of Idaho in high or very high fire danger conditions, according to an Idaho Department of Lands press release. Now, fire wardens across the state are limiting state burn permits through the department, which are being issued until Oct. 20 this year, according to the release. 

Burn permits are required for people living outside city limits to use burn barrels and to burn yard waste or piles of debris from timber. Fire danger conditions, weather, smoke levels and air quality are taken into account during the permit process. Most permits are being limited to crop residue burning, according to the press release. 

While the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is the agency that approves crop residue burning, the Department of Lands can temporarily prohibit it when safety is a concern. The agencies are working together to allow crop residue burning when it is safe to do so. Crop burning permits will not be approved by the Department of Environmental Quality unless the Department of Lands is allowing them to be issued.

Growers can apply for a crop residue burning permit on the Department of Environmental Quality’s website. A state burn permit can be applied for on the Department of Land’s website.

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Anteia Elswick
Anteia Elswick

Anteia McCollum is an intern with the Idaho Capital Sun. She will graduate from a the University of Idaho with a journalism degree in December. She has served as a columnist, reporter, photographer, graphic designer and editor during her time at The Argonaut, the UI student newspaper. She also freelances with Project FARE, a nonprofit focused on telling Idaho's food stories. In 2017, she joined the Idaho Army National Guard as a combat engineer and will complete her contract in December 2023. She's an avid outdoor enthusiast with an interest in environmental reporting as a lifelong career. Her hobbies collide with her line of work, including reading, photography, design and some outside activities like backpacking and wandering around the local farmers market.