Our Work: Burn Permit Site

Screen shot displaying the first step to submit a burn permit and a topographical map of the state of Idaho.

For 6 months each year, Idaho requires a fire safety burn permit for any burn outside city limits. But getting a permit required going to a permit issuing center. The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) wanted to make getting a permit easier. They asked Resource Data to create an online, self-service permitting application that also supported their traditional agency-issued permit workflows.

The Solution

We designed and built a web-based application that includes a self-service portal for the public to create or renew permits.

Instead of replicating a text-based paper form, the self-service portal uses a map-centric interface. To select a burn location, you click the spot on the map. Or, you can enter textual location information—address, intersection, coordinates, etc.—and the portal marks it on the map.

The portal also checks for any burn restrictions by intersecting your selected locations with restrictions entered by IDL administrators.

Beyond creating burn restriction areas, IDL administrators can also use the application to

  • Issue permits for in-person requests
  • Search for permits, including a map-based, spatial search
  • Run reports

Our Approach

Although IDL issues the burn permits, many groups—such as State agencies, local governments, fire departments, and Indian tribes—are involved in the process. Therefore, as part of requirements gathering, we held focus groups around Idaho to get input from these groups.

Because IDL needed the burn permit application at the start of the closed-fire season, our schedule was very aggressive. To meet deadlines, we used an iterative process to complete each deliverable. In addition, we prioritized development, completing the traditional browser version first before working on a mobile browser-compatible version.