Frequently Asked Questions
May I burn yard waste or household trash?
If you are located within Moscow city limits, NO outside burning is allowed,
with the following possible exceptions:
Each spring, the Fire Marshal may declare an open burning period,
dependent upon weather conditions. Items which may be burned during this period
include garden waste, brush and tree trimmings. Items which may not be burned
include leaves, grass trimmings and rubbish containing paper products. Persons
burning debris must be in legal control of the lot or parcel where burning
is taking place. Other requirements include burning at least 25 feet from
any building; keeping a garden hose or fire extinguisher handy; no burning
after dark. Permits are not required; however, persons who do not meet all
requirements may be subject to fines. The Fire Marshal at (208) 882-2831 can
answer any questions.
For yard waste disposal: tree limbs and yard waste items can be taken to the Moscow recycling center to be recycled into compost. If you are located outside Moscow city limits, the Idaho Department of Lands enforces state laws regarding open burning. They may be reached at their office in Deary: (208) 877-1121. For approved burning outside city limits, but within the Moscow Rural Fire District, we ask that you notify us early on the day of your burn: (208) 882-2831. We’ll pass along the information to our command personnel and our dispatch service (Whitcom). It’s really helpful to us to know where field burns are taking place each day.
Certain “APPROVED” outside burning appliances may be used
year-round, for recreational use only (burning only clean dry wood) including: Chiminea's
and Outdoor Fireplace burning units. These burning appliances
MUST always be operated with their metal mesh screens/spark arrestors/fire
pit lids in place. If not in place, you are performing an illegal burn
operation. It should be noted that these burning appliances give off a significant
amount of radiant heat and need to be shielded on the bottom with patio
blocks or other masonry type materials. They also need to be kept
away from combustible materials (wood/vinyl siding) to prevent the radiant
heat from starting other items or structures on fire.
Does your department have paid firefighters and/or medical personnel?
Our volunteers own and operate the fire department. The City of Moscow purchases fire trucks and built our newest station, and funds five paid positions for management continuity and liaison. With this support, our approximately 100 volunteers perform the major work of responding to fire and ambulance calls. This is a talented, hard-working and dedicated group; they willingly give thousands of hours yearly in service to their fellow citizens (and account for a major savings of City budget dollars!).
How can I volunteer? What are the requirements for department membership? Do I need prior experience?
You must be at least 18 years of age; high school graduate or equivalent;
hold a valid driver’s license and be insurable under our driving insurance
policy. Additionally, you must successfully complete an MVFD physical abilities (strength and agility) test and provide a physical
(medical) examination which verifies that you are fit to perform typical firefighting/EMT duties. You must be eager to meet the considerable time commitment required. We will provide all necessary gear. For firefighters, no prior experience is necessary. The
Ambulance Company does require that you hold a current EMT certification to be considered for membership. Call our administrative office at (208) 882-2831 for further information or to request an application.
Membership in MVFD is not for everyone, but is a rewarding experience.
I’ve heard you have firefighters who live in your stations?
Yes! We have a Resident program staffed by 20 full-time University of Idaho students. All living expenses are included, except food. These men and women bear the major responsibility of responding fire apparatus to emergency scenes, and are also assigned station cleaning and maintenance duties -- all while maintaining a satisfactory grade average in their studies. Students in all disciplines are welcome, although many of the Residents plan a career in fire and/or EMS services. Former participants in our Resident program can be found
in fire stations from coast to coast, and in jobs as diverse as University president and director of a major urban paramedic training program. Give us a call at (208) 882-2831 if you’re interested.
Does your department pass out free smoke detectors or fire extinguishers?
The Moscow Volunteer Fire Department participates in a Smoke Detector and
Fire Extinguisher “Giveaway” program for residents of the City
of Moscow who are unable to purchase these items.
Residents who are unable to purchase a detector or fire extinguisher may contact
the Moscow Volunteer Fire Department at 882-2831, Station
#3 (off N. Main St [Hwy 95 North]
at 229 Pintail Ln) to fill out a “Request for Free Smoke Alarm/Fire