Fire Chief Alan Viox said the fire department is not issuing any burn permits due to the dry, hot conditions.
“The state always has a burn ban,” Viox said. Anyone wanting to burn anything must get a burn permit from their local fire department. Therefore, if the local fire department deems conditions too dangerous, permits will not be issued.
Viox warned that “even green grass and weeds will burn.” It would take more than one substantial rainfall before conditions would improve enough to start issuing burn permits again, he said.
The State Fire Marshal in Iowa granted the Fremont County Emergency Management request for a burn ban in the county. The law is different in Iowa, said EMS Capt. Andrew Snodgrass. Burning does not require getting a permit there, so if conditions get bad, a burn ban must be declared.
Viox said it is important for people to realize that, if they start a fire, they are responsible for it. “So, if it spreads, you are responsible for the damage.” Damages would also include any injuries, including to firefighters battling the blaze.
Even with the current conditions, the call numbers for fires are down over last year, said Viox.