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Officials caution fire safety in county | Preston Citizen

Officials caution fire safety in county

July 17, 2014
By

By ROBERT S. MERRILL 

Assistant editor

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 always encourage 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 208-847- 0375. This time of year, things can change in a hurry.”

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Franklin County Fire Marshal Scott Martin warned people recreating in Franklin County to use care when building fires the rest of the summer.

“We are still issuing burn permits in the county. But these permits will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. 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 only responded to one brush fire in the county. But things are really starting to dry out. It looks deceiving. Things can look green. But there is a lot of dry grass at the surface that’s flammable, Martin explained.

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“Fire District officials are encouraging residents, especially in agricultural areas, to call the station at 208- 852-3111, or the sheriff’s office, if they plan any open burning so appropriate agencies can be notified,” said Martin.

“There will be no verbal permits. Anyone doing any open burning must have a written permit.”

Martin emphasized written permits must be issued by him or Fire Chief Mike Lower before open burning will be allowed. Martin can be contacted by calling 208-852-3111. His office is at the Preston Fire Station, 55 W. 100 S. Lower can be reached by calling 208-852-1386.

Martin also said it is illegal now for residents of the county to use fireworks. He referred to Idaho Code which states, “Non-aerial common fireworks may be sold at retail and only used beginning at midnight June 23 and ending at midnight on July 5 and beginning at midnight Dec. 26 and ending at midnight Jan. 1…”

This story is sponsored by Cache Valley Mortuary and Access Home Care & Hospice.

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