By ROBERT S. MERRILL
There are no fire restrictions yet on National Forest ground in southeastern Idaho, despite increasingly dry conditions on the valley floors.
“We don’t have any fire restrictions on Forest Service land across southeastern Idaho, including Franklin County,” said Dennis Duehren, with the regional office in Montpelier.
“We are encouraging people to use common sense with fires,” he said. “They need to check with our office in Montpelier on a frequent basis to see if there has been any change in the status. Our telephone number is 847-0375. This time of year, things can change in a hurry.”
Franklin County Fire Marshal Scott Martin warned people recreating in Franklin County to use care when building fires.
“We are still issuing burn permits in the county. Signed permits are required for open burning. The permits were required on April 14 and will be needed until Oct. 15. They may be needed beyond that date, depending on weather conditions later this summer and early fall,” he said.
Martin said his department has responded to several small brush fires in the county so far this spring and summer.
“Fire district officials are encouraging residents, especially in agricultural areas, to call the station at 852-3111, or the sheriff’s office, if they plan any open burning so appropriate agencies can be notified,” Martin said.
“There will be no verbal permits. Anyone doing any open burning must have a written permit. We ask them to notify the Franklin County Sheriff’s office.”
Martin said there are several safety tips that residents need to follow when opening burning is considered. They include:
• Never use gasoline, kerosene or any other flammable liquid to start a fire because the risk of personal injury is high.
• Burn one small pile at a time and slowly add to it. This will help keep the fire from getting out of control.
• Select a location away from utility lines.
• While the fire is burning, an adult must attend to it until it is completely extinguished.
• Have fire suppression materials on-hand including a water supply, shovels, rakes and other equipment.
• Be prepared to extinguish any fires if the wind picks up or weather changes. Use common sense and don’t wait for the fire department to contact you about unsafe conditions. Sudden wind changes are how most open burning gets out of control.
Martin said international fire codes are enforced in Franklin County and prohibit open burning that will be offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make fires unsafe.
The fire marshal can order the extinguishment of the fire.
This story is sponsored by FCMC: Rodeo Clown Round-up and Beackstead Real Estate.
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