PAYETTE — Those with large amounts of weeds to open burn will have until July 1 to do so, as Payette fire chief Steve Castenada and the Payette County Board of Commissioners confirmed Payette’s summer burn ban during the board’s regular meeting on Monday.

Castenada told the council he plans to work with fire officials in Washington and Malheur counties to coordinate fire prevention and coverage of possible incidents. He said setting the ban’s start date for July 1 allows ample time to inform the public.

“That gives me enough time to put it on my Facebook page, my website, our reader board that we’ve got in front of the station,” he said. “Last year, a lot of people, because we’ve been doing this for so long, just assumed it was on. Our call volume, mine went up 19% just in the county.”

Also present was New Plymouth fire chief Alvin Blevens, who said his call volume last summer was up 15%.

Castenada expressed concerns about current drought conditions, but expressed hope for a “good” fire season.

“This year might be a bad year … We’d just like to keep [incidents] down as much as we can,” he said.

Commissioner Georgia Hanigan moved to approve the 2021 burn ban, seconded by Commissioner Reece Hrizuk. The vote to approve was unanimous, 3-0.

The ban will be in effect from July 1 to Sept. 30, unless rescinded or extended in response to local weather conditions.

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