Jefferson County enacts burn ban ahead of eclipse

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Idaho — Jefferson County commissioners have enacted a burn ban just ahead of the Great American Eclipse on August 21.

The burn ban begins August 14 and continues until August 26.

“The board hereby declares a ban on open fires of any kind on all property, located in unincorporated areas of the county, except campfires built within an approved pit at improved campgrounds or picnic areas,” according to the official ban.

Rebecca Squires, Emergency Management Coordinator for Jefferson County says the ban does not permit people who are camping in areas temporarily rented out for the eclipse to have a campfire.

“It’s an improved campground or picnic area, so for example, Jefferson County Lake has actual fire pits, it’s an improved campground,” Rebecca Squires, Emergency Management Coordinator for Jefferson County, told KID Newsradio. “Somebody camping in a horse pasture, that’s dispersed camping so that’s not an improved campground, that means that, no they can’t have a fire pit.”

Officials say they know the ban may inconvenience some activities, but the need to protect the public is first priority.

“We don’t like to infringe of people’s activities, but this is an important matter of public safety and the protection of life and property,” Board Chairman Brian Farnsworth said.

Squire also says the ban also means agricultural burn permits will not be offered during the time frame where the ban is in effect.

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