Wildfire Mitigation

2018 Will be the 10th Anniversary of the fatal Oregon Trail fire in Boise.

What has been done to mitigate fires such as this one since that time?

  • Dedicated Wildfire Mitigation Specialist on staff with the Fire Department.

  • Dedicated Restoration Specialist on staff with the Parks and Recreation Department.

  • Dedicated, interdepartmental City of Boise Wildfire Mitigation Team (WMT).

  • Specific geographical areas designated as wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas.

  • New building and fire prevention codes specific to the WUI.

  • Numerous collaborative partnerships.

  • Over $1 million in grant funding for various fuel treatments, restoration work and outreach.

  • Seven (7) total Firewise Communities in Ada County.

  • Numerous HOA and Neighborhood Association presentations.

  • Multi-agency wildfire mitigation MOU with BLM, IDF&G, Ada County and the City of Eagle.

  • Core member of the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net).

  • Collaboratively created an updated Ada County Wildfire Riskmap.

  • Incorporated the finding of this riskmap into a GIS based Ada Situational Awareness Tool (ASAT).

  • Created www.adafireadapted.org , a site dedicated to wildfire awareness and fire adaptation.

  • Created a Citizen Fuel Reduction Policy for homeowners that abut City-managed open space.

  • Created a Twitter feed @wildfireready to provide information to homeowners and stakeholders.

  • Helped create a Fire Department Exchange (FDX) to learn/share with other national departments.

  • Collaboratively created a Southwest Idaho Wildfire Mitigation Forum (stakeholder workshop).

  • Started an Ada Fire Adapted Communities (ADAFAC) Working Group.

  • Finalized an Ada County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP).

  • Hosted Era of Megafires event in 2017 at the Egyptian Theatre.

  • City of Boise Neighborhood Reinvestment Grant funding for Firewise projects.

  • Numerous individuals have cleared hazardous vegetation from their properties.

Homeowners are the first line of defense!

Collectively we have accomplished much in a short time, but we still have a long way to go. The perceptions and attitudes of homeowners that live in these beautiful WUI areas are vital to the safety of our neighborhoods. 

Do we have a problem with hazardous fuels? Absolutely! Our fuel model in our natural open spaces depicts relatively light fuels. However, when wildfire transfers to hazardous landscaping in our built environment (the homes and neighborhoods directly adjacent to these natural open spaces) the fuel model changes drastically. Arborvitae, Juniper and other hazardous, flammable vegetation directly around homes in the WUI is of great concern; these fuels burn with such ferocity because of the resins and oils in these plants. Homes, themselves, are a large fuel source as well. One ember landing in these types of fuels, under the right wind conditions, can cause serious devastation, an urban conflagration for an entire neighborhood. 

Apathy really deters homeowners from protecting themselves. We need your help to recognize the need, and to take active measures to make your community safer from the devastating effects of wildfire. Please strongly consider taking measures around your home to protect yourselves, your property and your neighborhood. There are many simple things you can do around your home to lessen your risk. There is an abundance of information and hazard reduction tips on the following websites: 

www.adafireadapted.org

www.firewise.org 
www.wildlandfirersg.org 
www.fireadapted.org

www.idahofireinfo.com
 

A special thank you to our partner organizations, such as the Southwest Idaho Resource Conservation & Development Council, Boise District BLM, FAC Net, and to other organizations and individuals who have already stepped up to make a difference in the City of Boise. Keep up the great work!

Lands group shot

Caption:  On September 11, 2014 the Boise Fire Department, in partnership with the Boise Parks Department and the Boise District BLM, led a presentation/tour of the tragic August 25, 2008 Oregon Trail Fire for 55 members of the Public Lands Foundation out at the site of the fire.