Pocatello, Chubbuck end burn ban

Pocatello, Chubbuck end open fire ban

POCATELLO, Idaho - The Pocatello and Chubbuck fire departments announced the end of the open fire ban, put in place after the Charlotte Fire.

Starting Sept. 28 locals will be able to use their fire pits, but Pocatello Interim Fire Chief Dave Gates said there's still plenty of reason to be careful.

"The fire danger is still extreme. The fuel moisture is very, very low right now, which means we would have extreme fire danger. So we ask people to please be cautious," Gates said.

And in some areas of Pocatello and Chubbuck, fire still isn't allowed.

The fire ban is still in effect in areas considered urban wildland interface.

The three month long fire ban meant an extremely tough time for fire wood companies like Windy Point Lumber.

"It's had a huge impact on our company and all our customers and their companies. I've taken a voluntary layoff that last couple months so our employees can keep their jobs," Windy Point Lumber General Manager Lindsey Kimball said.

Kimball said she thinks the total fire-ban was a knee jerk reaction too the terrible Charlotte Fire.

And in her mind, banning fires at established campgrounds and fire-rings, probably didn't accomplish much.

"The fire ban in a maintained campground or a maintained fire pit or fire ring is just overboard. None of these fires were really started by a campfire," Kimball said.

Of course, it's impossible to say what the ban did or didn't prevent, but Gates said he's confident it made people safer.

"It just really helped reduce our threat, and reduce the number of fires that did occur due to runaway fires," Gates said.

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